April 2, 2020 - With the 21 new COVID-19 cases registered today, the number of patients in Montenegro raised to 144, two of whom unfortunately passed away. A total of 1063 people have been tested for the coronavirus in our country, 163 today.
New COVID-19 patients are coming from Podgorica, 13 of them, Bijelo Polje five, Nikšić two, and Danilovgrad-one.
Epidemiologist of the Institute of Public Health, Dr. Senad Begic, pointed out that the growth rate of the disease in Montenegro is about 22 percent identical to that in Croatia, while in Serbia it is 13 percent per 100,000 inhabitants.
Number of persons positive for COVID-19 by municipalities:
Bijelo Polje: 6
Herceg Novi: 4
The measure for the days of weekend mitigated
In line with the information provided by the competent security services that most citizens adhere to the prescribed temporary measures, the Institute of Public Health has today approved that the Ministry of Health eases the ban on leaving homes during weekends.
By ordering the Ministry of Health to amend the appropriate order, citizens will be able to leave their homes by 1 p.m. on Sunday, but with strict adherence to all other measures. The ban is valid Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. the following day.
Ten more health workers positive on COVID-19
Crisis medical staff chief Ranko Lazovic said coronavirus had been confirmed in 10 other health care providers - six doctors and four nurses. "Three doctors and two nurses are from the Clinical Center of Montenegro, two doctors and one nurse from Bar and one doctor from Tivat," Lazovic said. According to him, one nurse is not in the health care system of Montenegro.
PM Markovic: Half a million euros more for March healthcare earnings
"We have decided to reward health care workers who have been in the work process since the start of the coronavirus spread by up to 15 percent extra pay," said Prime Minister Dusko Markovic.
The Prime Minister said that the Government had also decided that the established restraint measures do not apply to health care workers and that any overtime worked for healthcare will be paid extra.
"We will immediately allocate at least half a million euros for our doctors and healthcare professionals," the Prime Minister said.
EU support agreement signed with Montenegro: Three million to procure medical equipment
The Delegation of the European Union and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Montenegro have today signed a three-million-euro contract for the purchase of essential medical equipment and personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, the Government of Montenegro announced.
The agreement, which is funded by EU funds as part of emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, was signed today by an EU Delegation to Montenegro, Ambassador Aivo Orav, and Daniela Gasparikova, UNDP Permanent Representative, at an online conference to act. The signing was organized in the presence of the Deputy Prime Minister, Milutin Simovic, who chairs the National Coordination Body.
The partnership between the Government of Montenegro, the European Union, and UNDP will enable the necessary missing equipment to be provided as soon as possible. Thanks to this support, 100 respirators, ten mobile x-ray devices, as well as contingents of personal protective equipment for medical workers - including masks, gloves, surgical caps, waterproof overalls and aprons, goggles and visors - are coming to Montenegro, the Government of Montenegro said.
EP President, David Sasoli: European COVID-19 policy should include Western Balkans
All measures taken at the European level should include the countries of the Western Balkans in their efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic - said the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli.
In a letter to the Speaker of the Parliament of Montenegro, Ivan Brajovic and the Speakers of the region's parliaments, on their appeal for assistance to the Western Balkans region in combating the coronavirus pandemic, this region is "part of the European family, and European commitment is beyond doubt."
“Rest assured that the European Union is looking for ways to integrate your region into its response mechanisms. The COVID-19 epidemic is, in many ways, a test of our European solidarity. It is a moment for solidarity, and your region needs to be involved. If we remain united, we can emerge stronger from this crisis, ”Sasoli wrote.
Parliament presidents of the Western Balkan countries addressed last week the EP and the European Commission, proposing a series of measures regarding the procurement of medical equipment to Balkan countries. One of the proposals is the diversion of unspent funds from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA II) to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
The Employers Union proposes new economic measures
The Union of Employers of Montenegro announced today that it supports the Government in the implementation of measures to protect citizens from COVID-19, and has proposed new rules aimed at supporting the sustainability of enterprises and preserving jobs.
Supported by the economic measures already taken by the Government on March 19, the Employers Union indicates that, although useful, they are not sufficient and must be supplemented.
The Union says the proposed measure gives a broad overview of the real needs and expectations of the business sector from policymakers and decision-makers. They expect the Government and the National Infectious Diseases Coordination Body to consider proposals and adopt measures that they believe to be the most urgent and to present concrete mechanisms of assistance and support to the economy in emerging circumstances.
They propose a whole set of measures to support firms prohibited from work or significantly restricted work, where due to the proposed guarantees, commercial banks' countries could create more favorable credit lines. They ask to extend the moratorium on repayment of loans to businesses and provide grants to entrepreneurs whose liquidity has been called into question. The proposal also included numerous tax relief measures and a whole set of recommendations in the sphere of labor-legal relations, which should ensure the preservation of jobs while preserving the sustainability of enterprises.
Employers are also seeking to suspend the provisions of the General Collective Agreement on the Obligation to Pay 70% of the Employee's Remuneration, which would provide for the direct application of the Labor Law, which provides for the payment of 60% due to discontinuation of activity.
Source: Goverment of Montenegro, Institute of Public Health, Vijesti Online