During the past weekend more than 8,500 people from neighboring countries were inoculated in Serbia, with Serbia's PM Ana Brnabic saying on Monday this was not merely a "political gesture," Croatia's state agency Hina reported on Monday.
According to Hina, Brnabic was responding to speculations in local media that the invitation Serbia had extended for citizens of neighboring countries to get vaccinated for free was politically motivated. According to local media, Serbia reportedly had 20,000 unused doses of AstraZeneca vaccine which could go to waste if they are not used by the declared expiration date of April 1.
“There was no politics in that invitation for them to come, and there was no politics in them coming,” Brnabic told local television station Happy TV, adding that Serbia did not want the vaccines it had to go to waste, and so decided to invite people from the region to come for vaccination.
The head of the Serbian chamber of commerce Marko Cadez, said today that more than 8,500 business people from the region had been vaccinated during the past weekend in Serbia, and that “even more” would get vaccinated on Monday on Tuesday.
“Economic systems are functioning,” with daily cross-border traffic and flow of people and goods, he said. “If I’m safe, then my (business) partner has to be safe too, and we have to understand that,” Cadez told state television RTS.
Just one day after the mass vaccination program for people from the region was launched, Serbia recorded 41 Covid-19 related deaths. On Monday, health authorities reported that overt the previous 24 hours 4,512 new coronavirus coronavirus cases have been confirmed. The number of patients in hospital care has now increased to 7,116, including 252 people on ventilators.
Since the outbreak of the epidemic in Serbia, the country – which has a population of roughly 6 million – recorded a total of 590,018 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 5,231 deaths to date.