The National coronavirus crisis Task Force on Wednesday confirmed a Serbian Government official, Branislav Blazic, among the five people who died of Covid-19 over the past 24 hours.
Mr Blazic, a State Secretary in the Environment Protection Ministry, and a prominent member of President Aleksandar Vucic’s Conservative Progressive Part, SNS, had contracted the virus during a visit to his hometown Kikinda, one of the epidemic hotspots.
The government had confirmed that he was a patient on March 25, about a week after his visit, and that he had been hospitalised with severe symptoms of the disease.
Doctors and epidemiologists from the task force did not specify whom Mr Blazic might have contacted in the administration.
Meanwhile, the number of confirmed coronavirus patients rose by 160 to 1,060, with 28 deaths. The victims, 21 males and seven females, were aged 61.2 on average.
Serbia is enforcing a very restrictive set of measures, prohibiting the elderly from venturing outside their homes and tightly controlling the 5p.m to 5a.m curfew.
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The army is also setting up a second mass hospital centre in Belgrade for people who tested positive but did not develop severe symptoms.
Two other large centres became operational in Novi Sad and Nis as part of the government’s effort to relieve regular hospitals and prevent overcrowding and spreading of the disease through the health system.