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Original title: Is it possible that Macedonians from the diaspora remain “stuck” after the elections
The portal Galama published a clickbait article in which the author expresses an opinion, which is used to manipulate the information that Macedonians from the diaspora, after the elections, will remain stuck in the countries where they are, unable to return to their homeland.
You can find the link to the original article here.
The published article is a clickbait with manipulative claims, which are based on the claim of a certain Peter P., signed as the author of the article. We will remind you that according to professional standards, journalists should make a distinction between facts and opinions, between news and commentary. In this regard, someone’s opinion, which is not supported by facts, is an attempt at manipulation.
We will start with the title which is posed as a question: Is it possible that Macedonians from the diaspora to remain “stuck” after the elections?
Travels across the borders of the country depend on the number of the infected, not on the elections. In that regard, we will note that the restrictive measures are applied everywhere, and not only to our country. Due to the growing number of people infected with COVID-19, many countries are imposing restrictions on the opening of borders to those countries. The number of people infected and not any elections, is the key factor that plays a decisive role in the restrictions.
The article we are analyzing reads: This campaign was marked with the coronavirus pandemic. The borders of our country were closed for months and not only the borders, but also our two airports. The one in Skopje, as well as the one in Ohrid.
After more than three months, the airports were opened on July 1, and the land borders a little earlier, but with a mandatory PCR test, which created additional problems for Macedonians who wanted to return to their homeland.
The Republic of North Macedonia is not the only country whose airports were closed. The fact is that due to the pandemic, air traffic was stopped globally. The reopening of the world’s airports is gradual and follows a safety protocol that must be followed. At all European airports, passengers must wear a protective mask “from entering the airport terminal to leaving the airport terminal where they land.” This is stated in the guidelines issued by the EU for travelling during the pandemic. Children under the age of six and people who can not wear a mask due to health reasons, are excluded. In order to be informed in a timely manner, a special website was created where citizens can check whenever they need to travel.
In order to be able to facilitate and assist the travel of our citizens who are in other countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of North Macedonia prepared detailed information including the regimes for movement and transit of citizens of RNM in other countries, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The article we are analyzing reads: Our diaspora struggled to come home for more than three months. In the beginning, the only way was the so-called humanitarian flights, after which it was mandatory to go to a state quarantine, which lasted 14 days, and then another 14 days in a domestic isolation.
But at one point, in mid-June, almost all Balkan countries decided to open their economies and thus their borders and airports.
Our country did it a little later, due to the beginning of the so-called second, or continuation of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Thus, Macedonia began to record the highest numbers of infected and dead from the coronavirus.
The fact is that in order to help our citizens, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made appeals on its website, as well as on the official profiles on the digital platforms, in order to be able to organize humanitarian flights for Macedonian citizens who are caught abroad due to the situation with the coronavirus.
Based on the legal regulations for public health and fight against infectious diseases, the Government decided that all citizens who will come in larger groups with humanitarian flights to be in mandatory state quarantine for a minimum of 15 days, in order to help, along with the state’s attempts, that these citizens come home, to protect the other state’s interest and the health of the people, of the population that is already in the homeland.
Our country very carefully planned, organized and implemented the restrictive measures and their loosening. Many countries that have decided to open their borders have, unfortunately, changed their decisions very quickly. The borders in the country opened on June 17.
The Republic of North Macedonia is transparent regarding the publication of data related to or derived from COVID-19. Even a few days after the election, the borders are not closed, and those who want can leave the country freely, but they must be aware of the measures they will have to follow in the country they travel to.
Therefore, speculation about what will happen after July 16, in a time of pandemic, is an attempt to create panic and misinform the public. the World Health Organization announced that on Sunday, July 19, 2020, more than 220,000 new cases of coronavirus were registered worldwide, which is a new daily record,. Due to the delay in the results and the reporting of the number of the infected, these are only approximate figures, and it is considered that the number of the infected is much higher. Since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the WHO, more than 12.5 million people have been infected and 561,000 have died.
The published article is an attempt at manipulative claims, which are based on someone’s opinion, not on facts. The published misinformation can contribute to misinformation of the public. Spreading misinformation during an epidemic or disease pandemic can lead to serious consequences.
The F2N2 team assesses this article as manipulative and unprofessional.