July 7, 2020 - The number of active COVID-19 cases in Montenegro has risen to 512 after the Institute of Public Health announced yesterday that the results of the analysis of 511 samples had revealed another 60 new COVID-19 cases. The National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases has adopted a set of new measures for the entire country, but also specific rules for the inhabitants of the municipalities of the Northern region.
Of the total number infected since mid-June - 517, five patients have died. The total number of registered cases of COVID-19 since March 17, when the first patients infected with coronavirus were confirmed in Montenegro, is 941.
Among the new cases of COVID-19 confirmed yesterday, the number of patients by municipality is Podgorica 37, Petnjica 5, Tivat 4, Ulcinj 4, Rozaje 3, Bijelo Polje 2, Budva 2, Berane 2, and Cetinje 1.
Thirty of these are contacts of previously confirmed cases, while in the same number of patients the source of infection is still being investigated.
Number of active COVID-19 cases by municipality:
Bijelo Polje 55
Herceg Novi 6
New counter- COVID-19 measures from the National Coordinating Body for Infectious Diseases
At yesterday's session, the National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases (NCB) decided on several epidemiological measures, both for the whole of Montenegro and for the Northern region in particular.
It was decided that due to the high epidemiological risk, educational work in public and private preschool institutions would cease.
The working hours of all catering facilities - restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, hotel restaurants, and similar catering facilities, as well as catering facilities on beaches across the entire territory of Montenegro are limited until midnight.
The measures will be applied in the next week. Based on the analysis of the effect of those rules and the epidemiological situation, it will be decided whether their application will be extended, the Government of Montenegro announced.
"The National Coordinating Body reminds caterers of the applicable measures and the recommendations of the Institute of Public Health for catering facilities. They must pay special attention to measures pertaining to the maximum number of four people at the table, except members of the same family household, and the obligation to have a distance between tables of at least two meters," the announcement states.
Stricter counter- COVID-19 measures in the Northern region
Due to the complicated epidemiological situation in the Northern region, it was decided that in the municipalities of Pljevlja, Bijelo Polje, Berane, Petnjica, Andrijevica, Rožaje, Plav and Gusinje, all catering facilities will be closed for a week," the Government highlights.
Specific measures for North:
- Gatherings in indoor and outdoor public places are prohibited (public meetings, public events, sports, political, cultural, artistic and private gatherings, weddings, and other events);
- Religious communities are obliged to adapt their activities to the current epidemiological situation and to perform religious rites in religious buildings exclusively without the public present;
- It is forbidden to transport more than two adults in a passenger motor vehicle at the same time, except for members of the joint family household and persons who perform regular work tasks;
- Gatherings and movement of more than two persons in an open public place is prohibited, except for members of the joint family household and persons who perform regular work tasks;
- It is mandatory to use protective masks in closed and open public places. This obligation does not apply to residential buildings;
- Gatherings in residential buildings of persons who are not members of a joint family household are prohibited.
Special teams have been formed, which are already in place in the Northern region's municipalities, to help coordinate and consult with local authorities and medical experts to overcome the consequences of the spread of coronavirus in the region as quickly and efficiently as possible.
"The National Coordination Body is saying to the people and the economy of the Northern region that the medical system and indeed the entire country are with them, but that success in curbing the spread of the infection depends primarily on the extent to which each individual obeys orders," the Government said in a statement.
Repeated recommendation to work from home
The state administration and local self-government, companies, and entrepreneurs were invited to organize work from home for as long as possible.
"Both state bodies, and the economy and the public have the same goal: preserving the continuity of activities while taking care of people's health and lives," the Government points out.
The strictest epidemiological surveillance upon entry from Serbia
"Considering epidemiological developments in the Republic of Serbia, it was decided that all persons coming to Montenegro from that country would be sent into quarantine.
Montenegro remains determined not to close for its people, but the rate of active COVID-19 cases in the Republic of Serbia demands a responsible approach. "The area along the border with Montenegro requires the strictest epidemiological surveillance. Therefore, persons entering Montenegro from the Republic of Serbia will not be sent to home self-isolation until further notice, but to quarantine in facilities designated by the state for that purpose," the Government said.
Foreigners' residence permits are valid until September 30
The National Coordination Body has decided, at the proposal of the Police Administration, that residence permits that have already expired for foreigners in Montenegro are considered valid until September 30, 2020, if the person to whom the permission applies meets all other legally prescribed conditions.
It was decided that after the previous similar measures adopted during the epidemic, and after today's proposal, the validity of residence permits for foreigners after September 30 will not be extended in this way.
The Directorate for Inspection Affairs imposed fines of 8,500 euros within two days of the new Law coming into force
The National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases reviewed the Report of the Directorate for Inspection Affairs on activities undertaken from 3 to July 5, i.e., after the entry into force of the legislation on Amendments to the Law on Protection of the Population from Infectious Diseases.
In two days, inspectors imposed fines relating to misdemeanor orders of EUR 8,500. The Markets Inspectorate imposed EUR 4,250 for non-compliance with measures for personal protective masks and other protective equipment. The Tourist Inspectorate EUR 3,550 for non-compliance with a mandatory distance between tables in restaurants or the number of persons sitting at a table, while the Labor Inspectorate imposed €700 in misdemeanor fines for employees not using protective equipment.
Election meeting on Wednesday
Representatives of the National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases, the State Election Commission, competent state institutions, and non-governmental organizations dealing with election conditions will meet on Wednesday. They will discuss the measures that need to be adopted to enable an unhindered selection process in the upcoming elections, given the circumstances of extended coronavirus infection.
Kusovac case proof that Law applies equally to everyone
The Director of the Emergency Center of the Clinical Center of Montenegro, Nermin Abdić, said at yesterday's press conference that filing criminal charges against the Mayor of the Municipality of Tivat, Siniša Kusovac, for violating self-isolation, shows clearly that the Law is the same for everyone.
"The state is capable of responding to poor behavior of individuals who, due to personal irresponsibility, endangered potential contacts and violated self-isolation measures. Self-isolation is the same for everyone, be it the Mayor of the municipality, a worker, a baker, a cook, or anyone else, and you have to respect the punishment meted out, in order to show both personal and collective responsibility," said Abdić.
Sources: Insitute of Public Health, Government of Montenegro, Vijesti