Serbia’s anti-vaxers protest outside doctors’ homes; Minister: Come to my place

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Source: n1

A group of the most vocal anti-vaxers staged a protest in Belgrade for the third night in a row on Monday, gathering outside the residence of the main epidemiologist, yelling "Mengele" at him and the Health Minister blasted them, suggesting they come outside his apartment.

Predrag Kon, a member of Serbia’s Crisis Response Team, said he would never forgive them the chant due to his Jewish roots.

The police in Belgrade only watched the protest during which the participants blocked traffic.

It is unknown if they had permission to hold a rally and why the police had not reacted in line with the Law on Gathering.

The Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, Brankica Janković, warned that wearing yellow ribbons on the sleeves of citizens who oppose vaccination against COVID-19 was an insult and disparagement of Holocaust victims.

The night before, in the southern city of Nis, protesters made noise outside the apartment of Branislav Tiodorovic, also a member of the Team, insulting him and demanding the Team’s resignation.

In the first and so far the only official reaction to the protests, Zlatibor Loncar, Serbia’s Health Minister, called on anti-vaxer demonstrators to come outside his residence, describing their behaviour as „an unprecedented insolence.“

„I want to tell all those people who went to the doctors’ private addresses not to do that anymore. Neither of them is to blame for anything; they are my choice for the Crisis Response Team members. I stand behind each of their decisions or proposals. I am the only one who can be guilty. Therefore, do not go in front of their apartments; let them come in front of mine,“ Loncar said.

Both Kon and Tiodorovic have warned about the dangerous spread of the coronavirus and called for stricter measures. They supported the introduction of COVID-19 passes, the Government’s move that prompted the protests.

The passes are mandatory for all those in restaurants and cafes after 10 pm as of last Saturday.

Many experts described the move as „too little, too late“ and warned it would not produce results since it was limited to restaurants and cafes after 10 pm only.

On Tuesday, Srdjan Skoro, a journalist, told N1 he believed the regime was behind the protests to show what such a minor measure could do and thus avoid introducing more serious ones.

Some analysts believe the authorities’ reluctance to enforce stricter measures when the epidemic is taking a high toll in Serbia is motivated by the forthcoming April 2022 elections.

A majority of anti-vaxers are thought to be supporters of the ruling coalition led by President Aleksandar Vucic.

On the other hand, the opposition is also pretty quiet about anti-vaxers’ public statements, except, like the regime, advocating vaccination.

Pro-regime media in Serbia are still open to conspiracy theories by people challenging the mere existence of the coronavirus and warning about the vaccines’ damage to health.

 

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