Gostivar becomes Ground Zero for the new coronavirus pandemic wave

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Gostivar Mayor doctor Arben Taravari warned that the city is in a dire situation as it is flooded with coronavirus cases. The situation is so bad that the Healthcare Ministry is even considering quarantine.

  • The number of patients surpasses the hospital capacity. This Delta strain is far more infectious and the number of patients is alarming. I urge the citizens to be extremely careful, and to get vaccinated, which is the best weapon we have against this horrible virus, Taravari said.

There are 103 patients in the local hospital, which has emptied its internal and neurological wards to accommodate Covid patients. For an entire week, the relatively small city had over 100 new cases diagnosed each day, and on Thursday it had whopping 216 – rivaling the far larger capital Skopje.

The largely ethnic Albanian cities of Gostivar and Tetovo, on the opposite ends of the Polog Valley, have large emigrant communities in Western Europe. As the travel restrictions were relaxed this summer, tens of thousands of emigrants came to the two cities and the near-by villages, to see their relatives and, in many cases – hold lavish weddings. It’s these large celebrations that are blamed for the spike in cases in Polog.