As hospitals fill, Kosovo battles plague of virus deniers

first_imgOthers who had once been among the unbelievers now know the dangers firsthand.  “To tell you the truth, I believed it did not exist. Now, after the hell I went through, I am convinced and I am telling the whole nation,” said an elderly woman, who had been treated with oxygen therapy for weeks. Coronavirus sceptics have gained a following around the world, from France to Australia and the United States, including Serbia, Brazil and South Africa.Conspiracy theory videos have notched up millions of views and continue to spread online despite efforts by social networks to shut down the disinformation.In Kosovo, the survey by Pyper poll company found that a third of the population did not believe the virus was real, while 61 percent said Covid-19 was “less risky than described” by authorities and media, said the company’s CEO Ilir Krasniqi. The scepticism is a huge problem for the government as it tries to enforce measures in Kosovo, which had its deadliest month yet in August with nearly 300 deaths – a toll higher than all the three prior months combined.Citing the poll’s “intolerable” findings, Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti’s government has tightened curfews in hot-spot cities, ordered early closures for restaurants and bars and banned public gatherings and religious ceremonies. In mid-August, parliament also adopted a separate anti-Covid law with harsh penalties for those who violate safety measures, including a 35-euro ($41) fine for not wearing a mask outdoors and a 500-euro fine for violating isolation orders. The law’s champion, parliamentary speaker Vjosa Osmani, said it also targeted virus deniers.”The damage they do to society is great and their misinformation should not be left unpunished,” she said. Yet, 25-year-old Mendim Hoxha, a designer in eastern Gjilan, remains unconvinced.At the entrance to his office is a sign that says “no masks needed here”.”I don’t see the threat by the pandemic,” he told AFP. “The deaths are not caused by the virus but by other health issues.”Leonard Presheva, a 28-year-old Pristina resident, insists the virus is no more than a normal flu.”In the beginning they said keep a distance, wear masks and gloves. Now nobody cares now about distance and gloves, but they want us to wear the masks so they can block our breathing during 40-degree weather,” he told AFP.Some say it is no surprise to see such sceptics in a society where corruption and an unstable political scene have eaten away at public trust in government for years. “A considerable part of the population is filled with conspiracy theories that this is only in the interest of governments, of great powers, of certain political forces,” said sociologist Shemsi Krasniqi, a professor at Pristina university.Topics : Inside Kosovo’s hospitals, beds are filling up with the sick and dying as Covid-19 tears through one of Europe’s poorest corners. But outside on the streets, a third of the population believe the pandemic is pure hoax, according to a recent poll that has shocked a government now trying to tackle the scourge of disbelief. Kosovo, a former Serbian province home to 1.8 million, has recently seen some of the highest Covid-19 death rates in Europe – while having one of the weakest healthcare systems. In Pristina, relatives, many from rural areas, told AFP that they took shifts waiting outside the infectious disease clinic to be close to their sick loved ones and on hand to buy medicine as the hospital reserves were almost empty.In a bid to convince the public of the real dangers at hand, the government has decided to let media into previously sealed hospital wards to film the suffering. “Tell those outside who don’t believe what you saw here,” an exhausted elderly man, recovering at the infectious disease clinic after a two-week battle with the respiratory disease, told a local TV channel.”Don’t joke with this. How can anyone believe a lie that the virus does not exist?” he implored.last_img read more

Where to get ridiculously low power bills in Townsville

first_imgChris Whebell and Chloe Clarke are saving money on their power bill thanks to Tesla Powerwall technology. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.HARRIS Crossing residents are rejoicing after receiving their latest electricity bill thanks to their Tesla Powerwall installation. The developer behind the Townsville estate, Maidment Group, offers home buyers the option to install a Tesla Powerwall 2 Home Battery System for a fraction of the normal retail price.READ MORE This renovated Queenslander is the epitome of luxury living Chris Whebell and Chloe Clarke are saving money on their power bill thanks to Tesla Powerwall technology. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.Chris and Chloe Clarke who have lived at Harris Crossing for almost 6 months said they were glad to have opted for the Tesla powerwall promotion after receiving their most recent electricity bill of $19.11 for the month. “We decided to include the Tesla system into our build as we liked the idea of reducing our power bills, and hopefully getting rid of them entirely some day,” Mr Whebell said. “Getting the Tesla solar system was important to us, as we believe spending that little bit extra now on technology, in the long run can help us save. “Using the app can help us monitor our output and help us save, not only money, but power and save carbon emissions.”Mr Whebell said the Telsa Powerwall has saved them a huge amount of money in the short period they had been living at the estate.“Since moving in, our electricity bills keep getting lower and lower each month, especially now that it’s coming into summer with the longer days and more sunlight,” Mr Whebell said. “We are also critical of when we use our power and try to use high energy appliances such as the washing machine, dishwasher or oven while there is still daylight. “For us it was definitely worth getting, we recommend just asking around and doing your research so you can maximise the amount of power you can save.”More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020Managing Director at Maidment Group Glen Maidment said almost every buyer at Harris Crossing had opted to have a Tesla Powerwall installed in their new home.“We’re seeing a lot of residents get their money back in about 12 months from the savings they’re making on their power bills,” Mr Maidment said. “Close to 97 per cent of buyers at the estate are opting for the inclusion of the Tesla Powerwall in their new home build. “What we are seeing people do is sell established homes in Townsville and build a new property at Harris Crossing because the money they are saving on their electricity bill is saving them a huge amount of money on their home loan.”The promotion has been running since the launch of Harris Crossing and will continue to be offered in the next stages of the estate.Buyers can secure a Tesla Powerwall and 6kw worth of solar panels for $4950 dollars. North Ward units on the movecenter_img READ MORElast_img read more