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North Macedonia: Census postponed due to coronavirus spread

March 29, 2021 GMT

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — Political leaders in North Macedonia have agreed to postpone a census planned for the beginning of April due to the rapid spread of coronavirus in the country and a lack of vaccines.

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said Monday after a meeting with Hristijan Mickoski, the leader of the main opposition VMRO-DPMNE party, that they had agreed for the census to be postponed until September.

North Macedonia has not conducted a census for nearly 20 years, with the last one carried out in 2002.

The country has been struggling with vaccine shortages and only began vaccinating its population against the coronavirus a month ago with about 11,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Russia’s Sputnik V. Medical workers were the first to get the vaccines.

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Vaccination of those over 75 years old and the chronically ill will begin on Wednesday with 24,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines that arrived over the weekend.

At least 6,000 people from North Macedonia headed to neighboring Serbia over the weekend after Serbian authorities offered foreigners free coronavirus jabs.

As of Monday, North Macedonia had recorded more than 127,000 coronavirus cases and over 3,700 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic a year ago in this country of about 2 million people.

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Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak