March 31, 2020 - According to press conferences held today by the National Coordination Body in cooperation with the Clinical Center of Montenegro at 8 am and 6 pm, a total of 166 samples have been tested in Montenegro in the last 24 hours. COVID-19 disease was confirmed in 18 patients, raising the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus infection to 109. Six thousand three hundred seventy-five people are under medical supervision.
New COVID-19 patients are registered in Podgorica, Ulcinj, and Tivat. The fourth is a patient from Bar, tested in Bijelo Polje. Although initial epidemiological research indicates that she got the coronavirus in Bar, a 74-year-old female patient is recorded as the first COVID-19 case from Bijelo Polje.
Number of COVID-19 cases by municipalities, March 31, 2020:
Herceg Novi 4
Bijelo Polje 1
"Medical System ready to meet the situation, if citizens act responsibly"
Director of the Clinical Center of Montenegro Jevto Erakovic pointed out at tonight's press conference that the facility currently has 16 coronavirus patients who are in stable condition. Four patients are in intensive care of the Internal Clinic while one patient is attached to a ventilator. Erakovic said that, in addition to the measures of the National Coordination Body and the readiness of the health system, a responsible attitude of citizens towards the situation is necessary for successful coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. According to him, Montenegro has enough ventilators, and in that part, the system will be ready to respond to the needs of citizens.
Crisis medical staff chief Ranko Lazovic says that the Montenegrin health system counts at 2,030 physicians, who are well organized and prepared to respond to the situation, and that we are below the global average for the percentage of medical workers in isolation.
However, according to News Online, Isat Jakupi, a doctor of internal medicine at Ulcinj Health Center, claims that there are no conditions in the institution to combat the COVID-19 epidemic.
"We do not have the equipment, something arrived from China yesterday, but that is not enough. We worked all the time without protective masks, gloves, coats. We are receiving patients who we do not know whether they have or do not have the virus," Jakupi told Vijesti.
Government: Measures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 by the Constitution and Law
Police across Montenegro has been monitoring compliance with orders and measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which last night entailed drastic restrictions on movement, which has provoked outrage among opposition political entities. The government explains the Constitution and the Law on the Protection of the Population from Infectious Diseases provide the possibility of organizing freedom of movement in situations of threats to the health of citizens.
On weekdays, a curfew was introduced from 7 a.m. to 5 a.m., while citizens are not allowed to leave their homes from Saturday at 1 a.m. to Monday at 5 a.m. under new temporary measures. Detailed information on the latest rules by the National Coordination Body for Infectious Disease Control, issued by the Ministry of Health on the recommendation of the Institute of Public Health, was published last night. They, among other things, prescribe a ban on the presence of persons in residential buildings in which they do not reside.
The NGO Civic Alliance states that without proper explanation, the lay and the general public can hardly question the legal basis of the measures taken, which can heighten fear and panic. The Government's decision to restrict freedom of movement is adopted following the constitution and law, and its objective is legitimate, but, in the opinion of the Civic Alliance, the competent authorities did not adequately communicate with citizens.
Interior Minister Mevludin Nuhodzic emphasized that the competent institutions are determined to implement all measures without exception. "There will be no tolerance, no spared, no privileged. All those who do not respect the measures will be prosecuted without exception,” the minister said.
Head of the Crisis Medical Staff, Ranko Lazovic, explained that yesterday's measures by the National Coordination Body on the temporal restriction of free movement of citizens were necessary because a large number of citizens avoided recommendations on staying in their homes. "It's not a curfew, not austerity; it's prevention. If the citizens do not meet us, our chances will be small.”
New significant donation of equipment arrived from the United Arab Emirates
A new contingent of medical support has come from the United Arab Emirates today, donated by Petros Stathis, Paul Pu, Ranko Ubovic, Aleksandar Mijajlovic, and Thaksin Shinawatra, government officials said.
FlyDubai's aircraft delivered 300,000 medical gloves, 247,500 3Ply masks, 50,000 N95 masks, 1,000 safety goggles, 500 protective suits, and 46 thermometers.
The Clinical Center said that an account opened to raise funds to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic is continuously receiving funds, and thank all the donors.
Organization KOD submitted a proposal for stability measures in the wake of the COVID-19
KOD today submitted to the Prime Minister, Dusko Markovic, a plan for stability measures regarding the current situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
They call on the Government to find a legal base for the Electricity Industry of Montenegro, which is majority-owned by the states, to provide a 50 percent reduction in the current electricity price in March and April, and in the months of possible further emergency measures. At their proposal, local governments, as owners of municipal water utilities, should ensure an equal reduction in the price of water.
"It is imperative to invite telecommunication and cable operators Telecom, Telenor, M: tel, and Telemach to demonstrate corporate social responsibility and ethical treatment of customers by lowering service prices," suggests the Organization KOD.
To prevent shortages of basic foodstuffs, the CODs are proposing to the Government a VAT exemption for trade on a limited scale. For all citizens who are in self-isolation, they suggest organizing service of delivery of the necessary food and hygiene products.
They believe that the competent state and local authorities must provide the necessary protection for employees of the services that are most at risk of COVID-19 infection these days - health and utility workers and police, and employees of retail outlets that are allowed to work.
Source: Government of Montenegro, Institute of Public Health, Vijesti Online, CDM