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Belgrade declares state of emergency over rising COVID-19 cases

Serbia’s authorities have declared a state of emergency in Belgrade, reimposing some restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 after a surge of infections in the capital, news wire Reuters reports. 

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić.

According to Reuters, Belgradeʼs residents will be required to wear masks in indoor public spaces or on public transport, the opening hours of cafes and clubs will be reduced, and gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 100 people indoors or 500 people outside.

The state of emergency came into effect immediately, city hall said in a statement on July 3. President Aleksandar Vučić announced the measures on television overnight.

Local authorities in central and western Serbia have already declared emergencies in several other municipalities in a bid to prevent a spike in COVID-19 cases overwhelming the health system.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Serbia has been rising since May, when the government lifted a countrywide lockdown, Reuters noted.

According to the latest data from John Hopkins University yesterday (July 6) afternoon, 16,131 people have contracted the coronavirus, of whom 311 have died and 13,267 recovered.