Man who lost his father and brother and spoke out about the chaos preceding the Tetovo fire says he is now getting death threats

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Ibin Emshiu, a man from Tetovo who lost his father and paralyzed brother to the dreadful hospital fire last week, said that he is now receiving death threats to stop talking about the catastrophe. The fire that killed 15 patients and visitors became a major political issue for the ruling SDSM – DUI coalition, and while most affected families remain silent, Emshiu was outspoken in describing the lapses in security that possibly contributed to the fire.

Emshiu described how understaffed the hospital was, and how doctors and nurses asked for money from family members to provide better care to the patients – or urged them to send a family member to provide basic care. This meant that at any time, there were about 50 people in the improvised container ward – half patients and half family members. It’s a clear violation of the rules mandating that no outsiders should be allowed in Covid wards.

Three people threatened me to stop making statements to the press, to be careful because I could get killed. I told them I am not running away anywhere, Emshiu told Deutsche Welle, without specifying where the threats came from.

He lives in Italy with his family and like many Albanian emigrants from the Polog Valley, they came to Macedonia to spend the summer in their village near Tetovo. The entire family contracted the virus, and the father and disabled brother were being treated in the hospital – both died in the fire. Emshiu had to provide nursing care in the hospital and told the press how he would clean bedpans, give food and water to the patients and paid 1,000 denars a day in brbes to get better care from the staff.