BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The main Serbian hospital treating patients infected with coronavirus looks like an abandoned building, but it isn’t.
With its rundown facade, peeling walls and rooms crammed with metal beds, the downtown Belgrade clinic for infectious diseases has for decades been a symbol of Serbia’s depleted health system that now has to cope with a major virus outbreak.
“If coronavirus doesn’t kill you, that hospital surely will,” said Bane Spasic, a middle-aged man who recently visited the place for a minor infection.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t hit Eastern and Central Europe with such a force compared to Italy, Spain and France, health officials throughout the region are sounding alarm about the lack of medical staff, facilities, equipment and enough hospital beds to handle several virus outbreaks simultaneously.
The COVID-19 illness causes mild or moderate symptoms in most of those infected, but severe symptoms are more likely in the elderly or people with existing health problems. The vast majority of those infected recover