May 13, 2020 - No new cases of Covid-19 have been registered in the past eight days. The total number of recoveries has now risen to 298. The total number of registered cases stands at 324. There are currently 17 active cases in the country. Active cases by city are as follows: Ulcinj (10), Gusinje (3), Podgorica (2), Bar (1), Bijelo Polje (1).
Eight days with no new cases of coronavirus infection
Dr Ranko Lazovic, the head of the Medical Crisis Headquarters says the nation’s exit strategy must be just as carefully planned as its handling of the epidemic. He reports that hospitals across the country are moving towards pre-epidemic conditions and Covid-19 bed space is being reduced, while maintaining reserve capacity as a precaution. Lazovic also reports that the average age of Covid-19 patients is 42, while the average age of the country’s nine deaths was 70. He urges citizens to wear masks and observe social distancing, and notes that a large number of citizens have been seen violating these measures.
Dr. Senad Begic of the Institute of Public Health adds that a large number of countries that abruptly lifted restrictions are now seeing a rise in Covid-19 infections, which is why Montenegro is insisting on gradually easing measures.
Hospitality facilities to reopen on Friday
Restaurants and cafes are free to reopen Friday, announced the government. Employees at these facilities must wear masks and no more than four people are allowed to a table, except in the case of family members. Tables must be separated by a distance of two metres or a screen and hand disinfection is mandatory at entry and exit points. Self-service as well as standing or lingering at the bar is forbidden. Business owners are required to post notices of the measures in place. The NKT is also considering allowing shopping centres to open, Vijesti has learned.
Police: NKT decides on opening borders
The decision on opening Montenegro’s borders rests with the National Coordinating Body (NKT), the Police Administration has announced. According to unofficial information from Serbian media, Serbia will open its borders with Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina on 1 June. Dr Senad Begic of the Institute of Public Health welcomed the news but said it remained to be seen whether Montenegro would relax its restrictions and under what conditions. Caution is required, he said.
Citizens on streets, priests held by police
Archbishop Joanikije and several other priests were questioned by police last night after they led the Saint Vasilije Ostroski Day liturgy in front of a church in Niksic, which resulted in a large number of residents gathering there, in violation of coronavirus containment measures. A group of citizens gathered in front of the Church’s seat to protest the questioning. Joanikije advised them to disperse and said he would abide by all requests from law enforcers. The government stated last night that the liturgy organisers had jeopardised the health of a large number of citizens.
Season collapsed before it began
The director of Kotor’s Agency for City Port Management says all sailing arrangements have been cancelled or postponed. The Easter holidays have always marked the beginning of the nautical season, but this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, few sails will be seen in Boka, and sailboats and yachts will be docked at City Port. Director Bozo Ukropina fears the season might not occur at all, in which case City Port will be in great difficulties, he says.
EBRD: Economy to drop by 8%
According to the latest forecasts of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Montenegrin economy will weaken by 8% this year due to the predicted impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the tourist season. In the macro-economic forecast published yesterday, the EBRD predicted that the Montenegrin economy would recover strongly next year, with a 10.5% growth of GDP. The recovery will depend on the gradual easing of national measures to curb the spread of the virus and return to normal functioning during the second half of the year, EBRD says.
This brief is kindly prepared for you by Arhimed & Represent Communications.