May 9, 2020 - The epidemiological situation in Montenegro is satisfying, said the National Coordinating Body (NKT) at its press conference. The number of COVID-19 cases since the outbreak is 324. Eight people passed away, and the number of recoveries is on the rise, now standing at 267. Health institutions will go back to the normal work regime on Monday, 11 May.
NKT also announced the re-opening of inter-city traveling by regions as well as that believers would be allowed to visit religious temples under strictly controlled conditions.
Deputy director of the Institute of Public Health (IJZ) Dr. Senad Begić said that the ban on public gatherings, including religious processions, remained. Deputy chairman of the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral's (MCP) Council Stevo Vucinic said that the National Coordinating Body's (NKT) treatment of the Orthodox Church in Montenegro and its believers was inappropriate and unacceptable.
Pribilovic: Our goal is for citizens to adhere to measures, not to have them fined
The minister of public administration, Suzana Pribilovic, called on citizens, employers, and employees to respect all measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, because, as she said, it was nobody's goal to punish anyone. Together with the director of the Directorate for Inspection Affairs, she visited several markets and supermarkets yesterday to make sure that measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 are being followed. She said that the virus was still threatening the nation and emphasized the importance of adhering to the measures, primarily wearing masks and keeping a physical distance.
COVID-19 crisis proved European unity
In his interview for Dan, the Czech ambassador to Montenegro Karel Urban said that the big wave of humanity, solidarity, and unity permeated the entire world throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
He said he was especially pleased to have been able to experience this in Montenegro. Urban stressed that the gradual relaxation of coronavirus containment measures, which the Czech government plans to institute in several stages, would enable the opening of some shops, gradual re-opening of schools and kindergartens, and sporting events. The possibility of allowing traveling abroad was being considered.
Urban said it was difficult for him and his family to spend four weeks in self-isolation, after returning to Montenegro from Czechia. Unity and solidarity were and still are crucial in any crisis similar to this, emphasized the Czech ambassador.
Amfilohije: I expect thousands to gather beneath Ostrog Monastery
"I expect that thousands of people will come to the Ostrog monastery on 12 May, as they have before," said the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, Metropolitan Amfilohije, announcing that he will lead a service in the Ostrog monastery on St. Vasilije's Day.
Believers will be allowed to come, but as announced last night by the National Coordinating Body (NKT), they need to adhere to the measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus: one person per 10m2, and a maximum of 20 people in front of such place. The mandatory physical distance of two meters should be respected, with a mask and with hand disinfection. NKT also says that the ban on gatherings is still in force.
The Metropolitan, however, says that St. Vasilije is "the best vaccine against many coronaviruses". "And especially against this coronavirus now. So, if someone wants, and we all want, to be healed of this virus and other viruses, it is natural that St. Vasilije's Day will be a day of prayer for healing from the coronavirus," Amfilohije says.
As of Monday, believers will be able to take part in religious ceremonies, with adhering to social distancing, and the National Coordinating Body (NKT) didn't allow the traditional procession in Niksic, on 12 May, Saint Vasilije Day.
The rector of the Cetinje School of Theology Gojko Perovic said that there would be services in all religious temples on 12 May, with believers present. He also said he was glad that the easing of the COVID-19 containment measures began. However, he also noted that the lack of accuracy in some of the rules created room for abuse. For example, he said that the ban on more than 20 people gathering in front of a temple was discrimination because it was possible to accommodate up to 100 believers in front of some temples, with adherence to social distancing.
Banks will grant extended grace periods
Secretary-general of the Association of Montenegrin Banks (UBCG) Bratislav Pejakovic said that depending on prices and resource availability timeframe, banks would grant extended grace periods for all clients that meet the required conditions. Additional linear pressure on banks, however, is not recommendable, as he said, as every bank had different abilities and was a particular case in itself.
Pejakovic said that there were already some €80m of new resources ready in the banking system. He also said that the moratorium on loan payments increased the liquidity of individual loan users and companies by €150m.
This brief is kindly prepared for you by Arhimed & Represent Communications.