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Coronavirus

Serbia Data Questioned; Recount for Virus Deaths

BELGRADE, Serbia — Serbia’s president says the Balkan country will do a recount of COVID-19 deaths after a chief epidemiologist said more people have died of the disease than officially reported.

President Aleksandar Vucic said Thursday that “Serbia will do a complete revision for each death, for each person.” Vucic insisted that the authorities did not hide the number of fatalities caused by the pandemic.

The comments came after epidemiologist Predrag Kon said three times more people died in Belgrade by June than officially registered. Kon wasn’t clear over who’s to blame for the discrepancy.

Serbian authorities have denied accusations they let the pandemic spin out of control ahead of the June 21 parliamentary election and altered the numbers of the infected at the time.

Tens of thousands of people attended a soccer game in early summer, while anti-virus rules were almost completely relaxed. Restrictions to counter the virus were reintroduced in July following days of violent protests over the government’s handling of the crisis.

Vucic’s populists won a landslide victory at the ballot that was boycotted by many opposition parties who insisted the vote was unfair.

Serbia has reported more than 30,000 infections and 749 deaths.

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