May 25, 2020 - Montenegro is officially free of active COVID-19 cases. The last case in Gusinje has recovered. Montenegro's tally currently stands at 324 total coronavirus cases, 315 recovered, and nine deaths.
Montenegro corona free
After 68 days of combating the coronavirus, Montenegro is officially corona free, announced the Institute of Public Health (IJZ). It makes it the first coronavirus free nation in Europe. Last night, IJZ director Boban Mugosa said the end of the epidemic could be declared on 2 June if no new cases appeared. The assistant to the minister of health and a member of the National Coordinating Body, Dr. Vesna Miranović, warns that being a Covid-19 free destination is a temporary title that could change if new cases emerge. Therefore, Montenegrins must continue to observe caution and discipline, must wear masks in closed spaces, and maintain physical distancing to deserve the Covid-19 free title as long as possible, she advises. Montenegro registered its first cases of Covid-19 in the middle of March. Cases reached a total of 324, and the disease claimed nine lives.
Hrapović: End of COVID-19 epidemic in Montenegro is a joint success
Montenegro was the last country to register its first case of Covid-19 and the first to succeed in rooting out the virus, said the minister of health, Kenan Hrapovic. Hrapovic applauded the efforts of the country's healthcare workers and thanked citizens for this joint success. He said that responsible behavior and a shared concern for health in the days ahead would be the ticket to preserving the proud title of being a corona-free country. Hrapovic said that in the coming period, the healthcare system would be focused on monitoring, development, and preparedness to respond to epidemiological indicators.
Consultation with OSCE
The Speaker of Parliament Ivan Brajovic will join a video conference today with the heads of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and heads of parliamentary delegations of the region's OSCE countries. The meeting will discuss activities within the scope of OSCE competencies in light of the current global health crisis.
Seafarers return home
A group of 10 seafarers stranded for nine months abroad has finally returned home to Montenegro. The group has been quarantined at the Dr. Simo Milosevic Institute in Igalo. Their return required flight changes in Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Zagreb, and Dubrovnik. Seafarer Gojko Vukojevic says many more of his colleagues remain stranded and appeals to all people and organizations in Montenegro to help bring them home to their families.
Orlandić: Large airlines at airports starting in June, no worker to lose the job
Airports of Montenegro (ACG) director, Danilo Orlandić, says in an interview for Dnevne Novine newspaper that judging from conversations with colleagues in the region and the EU, it can be inferred that travel will resume this summer, and probably without Covid-19 testing and quarantines. He says certain things will remain crucial, however: 1.5-meter physical distancing, mandatory mask-wearing, and frequent hand disinfection. Orlandić adds that yesterday's announcement that Montenegro is corona free has positively influenced airlines, who are very interested in resuming flights to Montenegro's airports. Orlandić estimates that ACG revenues dropped 65% in March and more than 90% in April and that this month will register similar figures. He stresses, however, that no worker will remain without a job.
COVID-19 puts a halt to issuing passports, steep path to €15m
The coronavirus pandemic has slowed the implementation of the economic citizenship project, but not stopped it, says the director of the Montenegro Investment Agency (MIA), Dejan Medojevic. He adds that 6 out of 28 applications have fulfilled procedural requirements. MIA projected it would gain €15m in revenues this year from this project, but given the current health and economic crisis, that sum will be challenging to achieve.
Cheaper loans needed to combat COVID-19 crisis
Banking Ombudsman Halil Kalac believes that more favorable lending conditions are necessary to mitigate the negative consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. Kalac says Montenegro's economy largely depends on lending conditions, considering that bank loans are the dominant means of providing the funds necessary for company operations. Companies are hoping for more easy procedures for obtaining loans, more extended grace periods, and cheaper financing. It primarily refers to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, which make up most of the economy, Kalac said. The ombudsman reported that the banking system was stable and liquid in the first quarter (January-March) this year and that these trends continued in the second quarter.
The generous gesture of the humble man
Sheng Li, a native of China, living in Herceg Novi, has procured 6,000 protective masks for the town to aid in its fight against the coronavirus. Sheng, who was assisted in this endeavor by Montenegro's Beijing embassy, will donate ten non-contact thermometers, which will be delivered in the next few days. As Dan newspaper notes, Sheng did not want any media coverage of the donation and was even reluctant to take his picture. Herceg Novi's mayor Stevan Katic, and his deputy mayor Milos Konjevic expressed thanks for Sheng's help.
Zeković: Two to a bed in detention, Property Administration ignoring recommendations
The president of the Council for Civic Police Control, Aleksandar Sasa Zekovic, says the Property Administration is directly responsible for current and all future unfavorable international reports on Montenegro. The council has mainly been concerned about the treatment of citizens taken into custody during the coronavirus epidemic. Zeković said, "We have not registered any cases of ill-treatment and torture in police custody. We have indisputably established the responsibility of the Property Administration."
As Zekovic points out, the Property Administration ignored the recommendations of international and domestic bodies for the prevention of torture and the daily requests of the Police Administration in all municipalities of Montenegro to improve detention conditions, which were inadequate for coronavirus circumstances immediately. Detention centers are overcrowded, some putting two people to a bed, some lack drinking water, and means for maintaining hygiene.
This brief is kindly prepared for you by Arhimed & Represent Communications.