11 Aug 2020, 18:36 PM

August 11, 2020 - Since the last cross-section, the Institute of Public Health laboratories has completed PCR analysis of 533 samples for the new coronavirus, among which 52 new cases of COVID-19 infection have been detected. The total number of active COVID-19 cases in Montenegro is currently 1119.

New positives were sent for testing from the following municipalities:
Podgorica 21
Bijelo Polje 8
Rožaje 8
Berane 6
Niksic 3
Ulcinj 3
Pljevlja 2
Bar 1

Since the last cross-section, three deaths have been reported to the Institute of patients from Tuzi, Nikšić and Pljevlja, born in 1947, 1950 and 1954, who were treated at the Clinical Center of Montenegro (1) and the General Hospital Nikšić (2).

The number of COVID-19-related deaths since the beginning of June is 62. Since the beginning of the first wave of the epidemic in mid-March, 71.

The recovery of 37 patients was reported.

Since the beginning of the year, the number of registered cases of infection with the new coronavirus is 3748.

The Clinical Center of Montenegro is currently treating 29 patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection, of which 13 are in the Clinic for Infectious Diseases, 14 in the Internal Clinic, one is in the Center for Vascular Surgery and one child with comorbidity is in the Institute for Paediatric Diseases.

"In the Intensive Care Unit, there are two COVID-19 patients in a life-threatening condition, one of whom is connected to invasive mechanical ventilation (respirator), and 12 in the Semi-Intensive Unit," the statement reads.
48 COVID-19-positive patients are being treated in the General Hospital in Berane.

"A total of four patients have a severe clinical picture, and two patients are in a life-threatening condition on mechanical non-invasive ventilation," the General Hospital in Berane announced.

Three COVID-19 patients are currently being treated at the General Hospital in Bijelo Polje.

11 Aug 2020, 18:04 PM

August 11, 2020 - Grbaljsko Polje and Krtoljsko Polje (fields in Grbalj and Krtoli) have fed the Bay of Kotor for centuries, and the fertile land of this area was paid for with gold and fiercely guarded. Grbaljsko Polje has been neglected in recent decades and turned into an industrial zone, but it still has the potential to produce high-quality organic food if it had someone to till the soil. Vladimir Španović from Tivat, who does not own a single square meter of arable land, is today the largest agricultural producer in our region. In Đuraševića Polje, at the Lokve site, he cultivates 3,000 square meters of vegetable gardens and 4,000 square meters of orchards.

grbalj 1

Photo: Private Archive

"Everything started completely spontaneously. I grew up in the center of Tivat, on asphalt, as someone who never had contact with the land. But, spending time in Grbalj, where I run a carpet service, I started to look at the fertile land all around me and began to think about starting a completely new business there. I started with some laying hens, as well as fattening chickens, keeping pigs. There were sows, the sows were farrowed, and little piglets were sold. Now I have an orchard and a garden on nearly three thousand square meters," explains Vladimir on how he started his business venture, which he says could not fail.

"I had no experience, except that my family was originally from Gradiška near Banja Luka, and my grandparents were engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry. Today, my uncle is engaged in cattle breeding. In principle, I have always been attracted to it. But I have never actually worked on the land or helped anyone in agriculture before."

Today, what you are doing is almost an attraction. When we were growing up, everyone who had a backyard was engaged in cultivating the land, at least for their own needs.

"Especially in Grbalj, people were primarily engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry. I have many friends of my generation who lived from agriculture, primarily Grbalj tomatoes and Grbalj peaches. There are no such peaches today. Not just those specific ones, but none at all. In the entire Grbaljsko Polje today, I am not sure that there are a total of 500 peach trees."

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Photo: Private archive

Considering that you spend a lot of time with people from Grbalj, have you ever commented on the reasons for the disappearances? Most of the Grbalj villages are still inhabited, people live in houses that have backyards, and they have fields that can be cultivated.

"Thirty years ago, when they were actively cultivating the land, they were children. Usually, it was difficult for them to go to the field because they would be going twice a day. Often, they would go on small motor cultivators, so the journey from Lješevići to the plot took half an hour or more. Then the whole morning watering of tomatoes, not with motor pumps that we have today, but with cans. They took water from the well, and no one then had fewer than 2000 stalks of tomatoes, plus all the other vegetables. At the time, the job was very strenuous and exhausting, especially for young people who wanted the sea and swimming rather than working in the fields. And then came the war years, and everything was devalued, and that work was no longer profitable. Until the war, agriculture was a very prosperous business.

Here is one piece of information from a man who lived off the land, who ceded the land to me for use - his mother brought home three of her father's salaries from Tivat market square on Saturdays, where she would be from seven in the morning until noon. On other days, one at a time. We are talking about the period until the beginning of the war. And then the buyers appeared, the prices dropped drastically, and everyone lost interest in that job. Import lobbies also took care of that.

The other thing is that the people who did all the work back then got older over time. The younger generations were employed by companies and only jumped out on weekends to help their parents. As the parents got older, the field was forgotten, and only the small plot around the house was cultivated for their own needs. And when the parents died, the children no longer wanted to work for their individual needs. That is why today we have the Grblajsko field, which has healed like the Amazon."

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Photo: Private archive

• Today, Grbaljsko Polje is primarily an industrial zone. Still, Grbalj is big.

It is safe. Kovačko Polje can be cultivated, and Krtoljsko Polje has not been devastated in terms of construction. It has healed, but it can all be cleared. In Donji Grbalj, below the village of Kubasi, we also have a large field. There is also land in Glavatičići. It's all just a forest today.

There is a lot of unused agricultural land, and we are all aware of that. You went into business without a single square meter in your possession. Can and should your example serve others? I ask this especially considering the current situation and the fact that already this fall, we will all be fully aware that the state of a country's economy is primarily reflected in the state of its agriculture?

"I would like to have a neighborhood that I would give my working hands to, and that would provide for me tomorrow. However, I doubt that anyone will get caught up in these things. Our people have been running away from work lately. That is what sociologists should give a definition to - what happened to our people? I have a feeling everyone has condensed. Many sold the land. But even those who haven't, and haven't been living well lately, don't want to work.

In general, we are a condensed nation. We are all too good for a hard day's work, we feel that work is dirty, beneath us. I have been running a carpet service for ten years. You can't find a worker. Some young guys come to work for a short time, but it is out of the question that a family man will accept such a job. And it's working with regular working hours, where you can't earn less than 500 euros. But you can't find a worker like that. The other thing is that everyone wants to be managers, to make millions, trillions. God forbid anyone sees you carrying a dirty carpet from someone's house."

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Photo: Private archive

Nowadays, the work of farmers is much more comfortable. Still, there is work to be done. What does a typical workday look like for you?

My workday starts around seven in the morning, I feed the animals, then deal with the carpets, and around 1 pm the chickens need to be let through the orchard. In the afternoon, the animals from the pasture slowly start moving towards their pens. Then there is a new round of feeding the animals, and then the delivery of carpets."

Vladimir returns home from work around 9 pm. He returns tired, but also very satisfied, because, as he says, he lives from his job.

"I am my own boss. When I decide to, I can go and not work for a few days. Of course, this does not apply to the farm. You must always be present there. But I can close the carpet service for a few days when I need to rest. What is even more important - I know what my family eats. The food we buy in stores and markets is mostly chemically treated."

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Photo: Private archive

This proud and hardworking host has opted to grow organic food.

"Out of 500 tomato plants, 200 are already unusable because flamingos attacked them. Some funds are available for organic production, but I just didn't get around to dealing with it. It will be enough for my family, " Vladimir will be satisfied, emphasizing that there are no problems with moving surplus products.

"Even if I had 10,000 square meters for growing, I would sell all my vegetables. I am in negotiations to lease another eight thousand square meters so that I can expand the orchard and be able to raise more animals. "

Fruit-wise, Vladimir currently offers pears, apples, cherries, sour cherries, figs, wild and cultivated pomegranate, peaches and nectarines, and his vegetables include the famous Grbalj tomato, but also ordinary-hybrid varieties, as well as all kinds of peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, rocket, and watermelon.

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Photo: Private archive

"Producers from Zeta and Ulcinj are known for watermelons, but that is not what is offered from Grbalj, as far as sugar is concerned. Grbaljsko Polje is a gold mine that no one uses because no one wants to work, "Vladimir Španović states with sadness.

Vladimir takes care of his farm by himself, and when it is the planting or harvesting season, he hires friends who come to help him. He says that he would gladly hire someone to help him regularly, but no-one is interested, even now, when it is increasingly certain that healthy food will soon be the highest luxury for all of us.

The farm of the Španović family is currently the largest agricultural producer in Grbalj. Vladimir says this itself is a sad fact.

"Thirty years ago, every family in Grbalj did what I do, even more. Today, I am interesting as the "last Mohican", and I am not even from Grbalj. It is sad what Grbaljsko Polje looks like. I have been clearing the plot where I plant today for half a year. I was not ready to pay someone for that service, so all winter, as much as I could from other jobs, I slowly cleared the land given to me for use without any compensation."

Vladimir emphasizes that many people from Grbalj would give their agricultural properties for use, but there are no interested parties to take them on. If he could, he would model the whole Grbaljsko field, he points out excitedly.

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Photo: Private archive

Wanting to inspire others to follow in his footsteps, Vladimir brings us another piece of information at the end of our conversation, which, as he says, is not made up but received from a man from Grbalj who has been keeping goats all his life.

"With only ten goats, you have a guaranteed monthly salary of at least 500 euros, which means that in addition to milk, you also sell cheese and goat meat," Vladimir concludes jokingly:

"It's a challenging job. You have to graze the goats for two hours in the morning, and then again in the afternoon. While the goats graze the fresh grass, you rest in the shade with a newspaper or book. Tough work."

10 Aug 2020, 14:42 PM

August 10, 2020 - A conference entitled "Festivals in Times of Crisis", held as part of the KotorArt Don Branko's Music Days, will take place tonight, starting at 8pm, on Cinema Square in Kotor.

The organizers of the festival highlight that directors of several festivals from across Montenegro and the region will speak at the conference, including Ksenija Popović (Bar Chronicle, Bar), Ana Vukotić (FIAT, Podgorica), and Ivan Radojičić (Festival of Street Musicians, Nikšić), as well as Zoran Rakočević (Korifej, Kolašin), and Dora Ruždjak Podloski, Artistic Director of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

A representative of the Ministry of Culture, the Head of the Directorate for Cultural and Artistic Creativity, Dragica Milić, as well as the State Secretary of the Ministry for Sustainable Development and Tourism, Damir Davidović, will also speak at the conference. The host and moderator of this conference will be the Director of KotorArt Don Branko's Music Days, pianist Prof. Ratimir Martinović.

"Speakers will present their views on the topic and this year's plans with regard to the epidemiological situation, following which there will be a debate on the position, impact, significance, place and meaning of festivals in times of crisis. The debate will unpack current and future formats, the ways in which festivals communicate with their audience, as well as defining a new, and hopefully better - normal, also in terms of the life of the festival," a statement by KotorArt Don Branko's Music Days reads.

On Tuesday 11th August, at 930pm on Cinema Square, one of the first theatre performances in Montenegro since the beginning of the pandemic is planned, in cooperation with the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

"An original project entitled 'Mara and Kata' by Saša Božić, Curator of the drama programme within the Dubrovnik festival, is about a duo of gossipmongers who criticize everyone with their specific humour, comic statements, original language and absurd revaluation of everyday wisdom. Nataša Dangubić and Doris Šarić Kukuljica have the audience in stitches, and never fail to make a joke at their own expense," the play’s press release notes.

Srdjan BulatovicDarko Nikcevic foto 1

Dua Bulatović Nikčević to perform tomorrow (Photo: KotorArt)

On Wednesday, 12th August, also at 930pm on Cinema Square, there will be a performance by the famous Montenegrin guitar duo of Srdjan Bulatović and Darko Nikčević. The duo will, in addition to their classic, well-known repertoire, also present songs from their latest album called Peninsula.

All programmes, it is emphasized, will be held in front of a limited audience, respecting the measures of the NKT and the Institute of Public Health. The programmes are also broadcast directly online, through KotorArt's profiles and via Facebook and Youtube.

Source: RTCG

10 Aug 2020, 14:14 PM
August 10, 2020 - The National Tourist Organization of Montenegro has organized a study visit by German journalist and writer Matthias Koeffler, who is preparing a tourist guide about Montenegro in German.
During the two-week visit, the journalist visited some of the most attractive tourist sites in Podgorica, Cetinje, Budva, Bar, Ulcinj, and the Bay of Kotor. He also visited the north of Montenegro, Žabljak and national parks, to present through his guide what Montenegro has to offer in terms of active nature holidays, which are always of specific interest to the German tourist market. In addition to natural wonders, Kofler will present Montenegro's cultural sights with a particular emphasis on museums.
The publishing group Reise Know-How, for which Kofler is preparing a tourist guide about Montenegro, is the leading independent publisher of tourist books in Germany. Since 1981, Reise Know-How has published travel guides for over a hundred world tourist destinations, including Bali, Majorca, Thailand, USA, and others.
The study visit of the German journalist was carried out with the support of local tourist organizations from Bar, Budva, Cetinje, Ulcinj, Kotor, Tivat, Zabljak, and Podgorica and Public Enterprize "National Parks of Montenegro".
Matthias Koeffler and his wife Marija, a professional photographer, stayed in Tivat last week. The host, TO Tivat, organized a tour of the Solila Nature Reserve, the Buća Luković Summer House, Porto Montenegro nautical resort, and the Great City Park. Pleased with what they saw, the guests pointed out that Tivat has excellent potential for combining natural and cultural heritage.
"The main cultural point in Tivat is certainly the medieval summer house in the city center, and Tivat can be proud of its natural heritage. It is the combination of cultural sights and natural beauties that is an attraction, "Koeffler said in an interview with Radio Tivat.
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Matthias and Maria Koeffler on Solila, Photo by Zora Krstović, Radio Tivat
After visiting the nautical resort "Porto Montenegro," Koeffler said that it is evident that care was taken to follow the Mediterranean style during the construction, which is why the resort looks beautiful. Although beautiful, it is not particularly interesting in itself. However, when we look at the history of that locality where there are two intertwining stories - the story of the former Arsenal shipyard and today's marina - Porto can be seen as an attraction.
"By visiting Solila, we concluded that Tivat has significant natural potential, from which a lot can be made. Solila is a nature reserve, which should be promoted for tourism," said Koeffler.
The guests from Germany were particularly impressed in Tivat by the Great City Park, whose history dates back to its founding in 1892. As the most extensive horticultural garden on the eastern Adriatic coast, with a large number of exotic species brought by sailors from travels around the world, the Great City Park, according to German experts, merits being found in all promotional materials about Tivat.
The author of the guide and his wife were truly fascinated by what they saw and experienced in Montenegro.
"The tourist guide, a promotional publication in which all Montenegrin cities will be presented, is essential for gaining tourist interest and presenting specific destinations," they pointed out.
Impressed by Montenegro as a country of beautiful nature, the Koeffler couple pointed out that German tourists emphasize sustainable tourism, which fits into the strategy of the Tourist Organization of Tivat, which has launched the Green Destinations program.
"This is a strong attraction for German tourists because there is a link between bathing and active tourism, hiking, mountaineering, and cycling," Koeffler explained.
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Matthias Koeffler in Buća-Luković, Photo by Zora Krstović, Radio Tivat 
The combination of nature, culture, and history is unique, which attracts the attention of tourists, so it is expected that the tourist guide will draw particular attention to the German market and bring more German guests to Montenegro.
"The target group of the tourist guide is individual guests who choose the destination themselves, and the focus is on natural and cultural goods. They are interested in culture, art, as well as national parks and active tourism. I bring together information in the guide for them to put together a route of their choice. It is crucial to put culture in focus and connect it with history so that guests get to know and understand Montenegro better. "
Especially exciting and impressive, said Koeffler, is the train journey from Bar and Kolasin. It will be particularly interesting for German tourists because they are real romantics, Koeffler pointed out, noting that similar examples should be promoted more.
The German couple were also delighted by Montenegrin cuisine, and they especially liked the Priganice.
A tourist guide about Montenegro in German will be available in bookstores, publishing houses, tourist offices, and fairs in all German-speaking countries. In the 300-page manual, Koeffler will present attractions from all cities, and the publication will be published in the spring of 2021.
Source: Radio Tivat, Share Montenegro
10 Aug 2020, 14:08 PM
UPDATE 8 pm: Laboratories of the Institute of Public Health have completed a PCR analysis of 395 samples for the new coronavirus since the last section, among which 78 newly positive cases of infection were detected. The total number of active COVID19 cases in Montenegro is currently 1107. Four deaths have been reported to the Institute in patients from Pljevlja, Bar, Podgorica, and Rožaje, born in 1952, 1960, 1947 and 1966.
August 10, 2020 - Over the weekend, the Institute of Public Health registered another 69 new cases of COVID-19 in Montenegro. On Saturday, PCR analysis of 326 samples revealed 39 new patients, and on Sunday, among 263 analyzed samples, COVID-19 infection was confirmed in 30 newly infected.

New COVID-19 positives were sent for testing from the following municipalities:

Podgorica 37
Niksic 8
Bijelo Polje 7
Bar 3
Ulcinj 3
Kotor 2
Cetinje 2
Budva 2
Berane 1
Herceg Novi 1
Budva 1
Plav 1
Pljevlja 1
Tivat 1
On Saturday, the Institute reported the death of a COVID-19 patient from Podgorica, born in 1955 and treated at the Clinical Center of Montenegro. On Sunday, two more patients from Kotor and Berane, born in 1956 and 1951, treated at the General Hospital in Bar and the General Hospital in Berane, died. Since mid-June, the total number of deaths related to COVID-19 is 55, and since the middle of March, 64.
During the weekend, the recovery of another 156 patients was reported, and the total number of active cases of COVID-19 in Montenegro is currently 1102.
Since the beginning of the year, the number of registered cases of infection with the new coronavirus is 3618.

NKT: Measures to be defined for political rallies, foreign missions, beginning of the school year

At the request of many political entities and the need expressed for direct communication with voters and better presentation of election programs and lists in the pre-election process, the NKT proposed to the Ministry of Health that political orders be amended to enable indoor and outdoor political rallies, with mandatory compliance with prescribed epidemiological measures, writes the portal of the Government of Montenegro.
Up to 100 people are allowed to gather in the open air, and up to 50 people indoors. Political entities are responsible for the organization and respect of measures during the gathering.
Bearing in mind upcoming international sports activities and the significant interest of foreign media and foreign observation missions in the election process in Montenegro, the NKT proposed defining special conditions that would allow entry and stay of these entities in a way that provides optimal health protection.
The announcement was made following the protocol currently in place for easing international traffic measures, and the recommendations of the European Commission.
The NKT recommended the Ministry of Education and the Institute of Public Health prepare and define the preconditions for the beginning of the school year in the regular format and with full capacity in mind.
Class attendance, and time spent in school and at preschool institutions have an irreplaceable educational role. It is necessary therefore to prepare clear and timely recommendations to enable regular activities in all school and preschool institutions in a healthy and safe manner.
The NKT has decided that press conferences will be held from today on Monday at 5 pm at the Institute of Public Health.
08 Aug 2020, 22:01 PM

August 8, 2020 - The Office for Project Management of the Municipality of Bar has presented the first tourist map of ancient olive trees in the Jidžarin grove near Stari Bar. The map has been produced for tourists who want to visit and experience the beauty of Bar olive groves.

The Municipality of Bar announced that the map was produced as part of the cross-border cooperation project Cross Border Ol, financed through the Interreg Italy-Albania-Montenegro programme.

The Head of the Project Management Office, Ana Živanović, said that those who visit the Old Town of Bar often have no idea what beauty lies within its immediate vicinity, in the olive grove.

"The basic idea was to promote the olive grove for tourism by presenting it on a map together with well-known cultural locations and other attractions in Bar, and directing visitors from those locations towards the olive route," said Živanović.

She added that she is certain the map will serve as a way for visitors to Bar to get to know the city and its natural resources better, but will also be used by travel agencies as a good starting point for creating new day trips. The route map of ancient olive trees will be a successful tool to publicize Bar as well as to promote the olive route and agro-tourism specifically.

Bar's map of ancient olive trees gives an overview of the location of olive groves, the Old Town, the remains of cultural and historical assets, stone bridges and fountains, the Kajnak spring, the Old Mill and 23 ancient olive trees, as well as providing a broader view of the centre of Bar with faithfully illustrated cultural locations and attractions.

The Municipality announced that the ancient olive trees will be marked in situ with information boards including data on the trees, their estimated age and geographical coordinates.

The route map of ancient olive trees has been distributed to the various stakeholders in the tourism economy and to cultural institutions, i.e. the Tourist Organization, the Cultural Centre, hoteliers and tourist agencies, in order to be further distributed to tourists both this and next year.

"Tourism professionals who wish to provide maps for their guests will be able to do so after the presentation, by contacting the Project Management Office," the statement concluded.



07 Aug 2020, 23:40 PM
August 7, 2020 - The private clinic Marin Med from Kotor is organizing PCR testing for the new coronavirus, it was recently announced on their website. Upon further inspection of the site, it is clear that their sister clinic of the same name from Dubrovnik has been organizing a "drive-in" PCR test for COVID-19 at the Karasovići border crossing since mid-July.
Marin Med also states that swabs are taken on weekdays and Sundays from 7.30 pm, and that this test costs 350 euros, with the results being ready in 24 to 48 hours. For urgent cases, the test can be completed in a maximum of 26 hours, with the price increasing to 400 euros. They also note that testing must be paid for in advance.
"When it comes to PCR testing for the new coronavirus, Marin Med Montenegro does not carry out sampling or testing for COVID-19. We exclusively schedule tests and deliver results via email to people who request PCR testing through us. Sampling and testing is carried out by the Marin Med polyclinic from Dubrovnik, and for this, the Teaching Institute for Public Health of the Split-Dalmatia County is used," writes Vijesti.
According to the Central Register of Business Entities (CRPS), Marin Med was founded with a 40 percent stake in Prime Consult, 100 percent owned by Vladimir Perunovic, and a partner of Milo Djukanovic's son in Kodio, a company registered to provide services in the field of information technology.

PCR testing for the new coronavirus in Montenegro is performed only in the laboratories of the Institute of Public Health (IPH)

Earlier, plans were announced for the establishment of a PCR laboratory in the Clinical Center of Montenegro. Two days ago, the Director of the Internal Clinic, Sreten Kavarić, said that the laboratory could not start working before the end of September, which is the earliest deadline for a PCR testing machine to arrive in Montenegro.
"The problem is not money, but the many permits required and how the machine can be transferred to Montenegro," he said.
On the same day, the Assistant Director of the Institute of Public Health, Senad Begic, appealed to private laboratories to help the IPH and the public health response to the coronavirus epidemic.
"Currently, as in the last few weeks, the IPH laboratory is relying on contact searches, which means that we have a whole range of population categories, especially passengers in international traffic, who unfortunately cannot receive the service."
Private health institutions, he said, can help the IPH and state laboratories relieve pressure in many ways.
It is possible to carry out serological testing in several laboratories across the country. As the IPH explained earlier, this only reveals the existence of antibodies to the new coronavirus.
In the first half of July, 2,000 samples from the IPH were sent for PCR processing to a laboratory in Germany.
Source: Vijesti
07 Aug 2020, 22:28 PM

August 7, 2020 - The Center for Civic Education (CGO-CCE) has expressed great concern over the Technical Recommendations for the Epidemiological Protection of Voters During Elections, adopted by the State Election Commission (SEC) yesterday, reports CGO-CCE program assistant, Damir Šuljević.

Technical recommendations adopted by SEC at yesterday's session - main provisions

At the session of the State Election Commission, a document entitled "Technical recommendations for epidemiological protection of voters during elections" was adopted by the National Coordination Body, the Institute of Public Health and the SEC, after many hours of preparation.
The goal of these recommendations, as it was announced, is to protect the health of the public and all participants in the election process.
Basic measures that apply to all participants in the election process:
1. Mandatory hand disinfection before entering the polling station and during the voting process;
2. Compulsory wearing of a mask at the polling station, except when establishing the identity of voters;
3. Maintaining the prescribed physical distance before, during, and after visiting the polling station.
Hand disinfection should be carried out before and after voting.
The protective mask is to be removed by the voter for a short time to verify their identity (with all other persons in the room wearing masks) and then, after hand disinfection, placed back the face. Voting is to be carried out while wearing a face cover.  Hand disinfection is performed after the mask is placed back over the face. 
Voters who have been placed in self-isolation will be allowed to vote by post, following the Law on the Election of Councilors and Deputies, the Rules on Postal Voting, and general counter- COVID-19 provisions.
Persons who have been placed in institutional quarantine by decision of the health and sanitary inspection can vote if the quarantine facility is located in the municipality where the voter resides, i.e., where he is registered on the voter list, following the Law on the Election of Councilors and Deputies, the Rules on Postal Voting and application of epidemiological recommendations.
Patients with COVID-19 infection who are in hospital will not be able to exercise their right to vote.

CGO-CCE: SEC's Recommendations Unconstitutional, Unclear, Contradictory and Unenforceable

As explained by the CCE, the SEC has not passed legal provisions that enable citizens to exercise the right to vote guaranteed by the Constitution and, at the same time, ensure explicit election norms so that the election day passes with minimal epidemiological risk.

"It is devastating that the SEC worked for almost a month on a document containing only three pages of text that include many technical and spelling errors. This document remains inherently vague and, most importantly, unconstitutional. This document indicates in the title that it is a technical. However, the first part prescribes obligations, yet there are no apparent sanctions for violations, which is contrary to the letter of the law. Such a stunt makes the legal nature of this act unclear because it is not known whether they are recommendations or obligations," explains Šuljevic.

The proposed voting by post for persons in self-isolation or quarantine does not follow the provisions of the Law on Election of Councilors and Deputies and the SEC Rules on Postal Voting.

"More precisely, the specific position of persons in quarantine and self-isolation cannot be subsumed under the situations described by the law and the rules, even when under home or hospital treatment, which the SEC members presumably had in mind. Specifically, these persons are in a situation that is not given a medical diagnosis, neither do they show the presence of any disease. Still, (their situation) is a consequence of the competent state authority's decision as a measure to combat infectious diseases. Also, the planned postal voting for quarantined persons is technically tricky. The SEC Rules provide that one person may be authorized to apply for a maximum of one voter, except in the case of voters from the same household. That means that the number of people placed in quarantine requires almost or an equal amount of authorized persons to apply on their behalf, which, due to the limited contact between quarantined persons and their families, makes this idea absurd," the statement goes on to explain.

As Suljević points out, the epidemiological recommendations are also contradictory, unclear, and incomplete, and they do not respond to the generally known challenges that arice when calling elections.

"For example, it is recommended that a minimum distance of two meters be provided in front of the voter identification station. It neglects to mention that the voter must hand over the ID card to the polling station committee members, sign the excerpt from the voter list, and separate the control ballot from the ballot paper, etc. Also, it is prescribed that hand disinfection is performed before and after voting. In one paragraph of the document, it is prescribed that the voter disinfects hands after identification and then returns their mask to the face. In the second paragraph, hand disinfection is performed after the mask is replaced. Due to this unclear style, it remains very vague as to whether the voter disinfects their hands two, three, or four times at the polling station," they add.

As Šuljević mentions, these technical recommendations make it impossible for persons in quarantine outside the area of ​​the municipality where they reside to vote. He points out that this restriction is contrary to other general acts passed by the SEC. It also brings an "unprecedented situation" of denying the right to vote guaranteed by the Constitution by technical recommendations because the Constitution prescribes the right to vote as general and equal to all citizens.

"CGO-CCE will submit to the Constitutional Court an initiative to review the constitutionality of the SEC's technical recommendations, and the latter must react promptly, bearing in mind that the election day is approaching. Also, the CCE calls on the SEC to continue work on this document and use the time until the elections to adopt constitutional, precise, and concrete instructions to enable the safe conduct of elections," the CGO-CCE statement concluded.

State Election Commission: recommendations follow the Constitution in part 

Citizens with the right to vote, and who will be hospitalized on the day of the elections on August 30 due to coronavirus infection, as well as those in quarantine outside their place of residence, will not be able to exercise their right to vote, the State Election Commission unanimously stated. 
We are aware, sais spokesman Mersudin Dautović, that this is not in line with the constitutionally guaranteed right, but due to the epidemiological risk such a decision had to be made.
"The goal of the recommendations is to protect the health of the citizens of Montenegro, i.e. voters and all other participants in the election process," Dautovic told TVCG.
07 Aug 2020, 22:01 PM
August 7, 2020 - The Institute of Public Health claims that most seafarers are provided with PCR testing by employers and that they can be tested in countries of entry, and therefore their departure onboard a ship does not depend only on testing in Montenegro.
A daily quota of samples has been agreed with the Union of Seafarers, which is appropriate to the current epidemiological situation, and which does not jeopardize the functioning of the laboratory and its public health function. 
Nenad Lazović, President of the Association of Seafarers' Employment Agencies, told Pobjeda that seafarers have been in serious trouble since the second wave of coronavirus in the country, since mid-June. If they are preparing to board a foreign ship at port, they cannot carry out a PCR test that their employers consider valid, except if it is between 24 and 48 hours old.
Lazović also said that the Institute informed them that they are not a priority when it comes to the epidemiological and health situation.
"Not only could we not pay, but we could no longer make an appointment (for testing)," Lazovic told Pobjeda, noting that sailors are thus left to their own devices and have to manage and look for a laboratory in which to perform testing.
However, Pobjeda announced yesterday that they have an "absolute understanding for seafarers, as well as certain categories of passengers in international traffic, especially those who travel for health and medical reasons so that certain daily capacities of the laboratory are reserved for them."
"We apologize that we are not familiar with the existence of several professional associations of seafarers. The Institute spoke only with the Union of Seafarers as a non-governmental association that has so far negotiated and represented seafarers' interests in Montenegro and has no objections to cooperation with the Institute of Public Health," they stated.
They explain that "within their competence and the current epidemiological situation, the main focus is on the public health function of the microbiological laboratory, whose primary goal is to identify patients and their contacts and enable testing of persons with other health needs, often acute." 
"This approach will ensure that laboratory facilities are used for what is most needed to combat existing and prevent future disease," they said.
They add that "the Institute is obliged to provide services to persons insured by Fund, and those based on the doctor's instructions, while there is no obligation for other tests."
"But because of the situation in which we and all other citizens find ourselves, including seafarers, we are looking for ways to provide everyone with free testing, without endangering those for whom testing is primarily intended."
They also stressed that, according to their records, the last inquiry they received from seafarers was in April 2020.
"In any case, we remain open to improving cooperation with them," the IPH concluded.
Lazović told Pobjeda that the Association had sent letters to the National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases, the Institute of Public Health, the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs, and the Ministry of Health regarding testing problems for seafarers, but they had not received a response.
As Lazović confirmed to Pobjeda, since Croatia closed the border, the company "Marin Med Montenegro" has appeared, which performs PCR test sampling in the cross-border area between Montenegro and Croatia, at the Karasovići border crossing.
The price of a standard PCR test is 350 euros, and the results arrive in 48 hours, while the express test, which is ready in 26 hours, costs 400 euros. Lazović also said that they have information that prices for sampling on weekends go up to 450 euros.
The IPH also said that most seafarers are provided with testing by their employers and that they can be tested in the countries of entry (Germany, Turkey, Croatia, etc.), so their departure onboard a ship does not depend only on testing in Montenegro.
"In any case, as the epidemiological situation improves, more centers and more sampling opportunities will be available to our seafarers," they said.
Source: Pobjeda
07 Aug 2020, 21:33 PM
August 7, 2020 - Since the last cross-section, the Institute of Public Health has completed PCR analysis of 464 samples for the new coronavirus, among which 69 new COVID-19 cases have been detected. The total number of active COVID19 cases in Montenegro is 1192.
New positives were sent from the following municipalities: Podgorica 36, Niksic 10, Bar 4, Rozaje 4, Bijelo Polje 3, Berane 3, Pljevlja 2, Herceg Novi 2, Kotor 2, Budva 1, Ulcinj 1, Plav 1.
The Institute reported one new death in a patient from Bar, born in 1951, treated in a general hospital in the city.
Since the beginning of June, the number of deaths related to COVID-19 is 52, and since the beginning of year, 61. The recovery of 118 patients has been reported.
Since the beginning of the year, the total number of registered cases of infection with the new coronavirus is 3549.

Mugoša: The COVID-19 epidemic in MNE will most likely begin to subside

The coronavirus epidemic level remains relatively high, but what is encouraging is that there has been no major increase, said Boban Mugoša, Director of IPH, at the press conference of the National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases (NKT).
"For several days now the level has been around 15% of those tested, which means that we have reached a limit, are at a turning point, and that the epidemic will most likely begin to subdside. Our behavior is the main factor that will hinder the spread of infection," Mugosa said.
He reiterated that it is essential that measures be respected.
"These are simple. You should wear a mask, take care of hygiene and keep physical and social distance and limit contacts," said Mugoša.

160 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, 19 in a life-threatening condition

The Assistant Director of the Clinical Center, Nemanja Radojevic, said that 160 patients positive for coronavirus have been hospitalized, of which 19 were in a life-threatening condition.
He explained that six patients are on some form of mechanical ventilation, three of whom are on a respirator in the Clinical Centre of Montenegro.
Mugoša: We have another challenge - tourism
Mugoša reiterated that Montenegro had taken adequate measures even before the outbreak of the coronavirus.
In answer to the question about opening of the borders, Mugoša reiterated that at the beginning of the epidemic in Montenegro, the most rigorous measures were required.
"However, we did not expect a hundred fires to occur in a few days. It led to the development of local transmission that was difficult to stop. Some people did not respect the measures, abused border crossings with ID cards, and returned without reporting that they were in countries with large foci, "Mugosa said.
He added that the capacities of the Institute were set up to prevent the spread of the epidemic.
"We have another challenge. It is tourism. Our economy relies significantly on tourism, but tourists will come to us. The challenges are significant, but we have made a good plan, and I hope that we will be able to deliver everything in order to keep the population healthy and safe," Mugosa said.

Mugoša: The Institute gave recommendations for voting, but others took the decision

When asked how the elections can be held if we have a case where two weddings with 600 guests caused more outbreaks of infection, Mugoša said that "grandmothers and frogs cannot be compared."
"The wedding is organized as it is organized, and measures are respected as seen fit. With regard to the elections, we are talking about a controlled environment with prescribed rules. The problem is uncontrolled conditions. The recommendations will not endanger anyone any more than going to the store.
When asked whether the Institute recommended to the SEC that people in hospital treatment should not vote, Mugoša said that they are not able to make that decision, but can only give recommendations.
"We have highlighted that we have different patients in hospitals - from less serious to the most serious conditions. We said that in such conditions, it would be possible to organize elections, and the question is who can vote, depending on the clinical picture. We cannot decide on that. We give recommendations, but others have made those decisions, "Mugosa said.
Radojevic added that it is clear that 600 people at two weddings cannot be compared to election conditions with state-prescribed distances, masks, and a stay of a few minutes at the polling station.

NKT: International traffic measures relaxed

The NKT has published a list of countries from which entry to Montenegro is allowed on their website. The list is valid from August 8 at 00:00.
Countries from which ENTRY into Montenegro is possible without additional restrictions regarding COVID-19:
All EU countries
South Korea
New Zealand
Papua New Guinea
Russian Federation
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Countries from which it is possible to come with NEGATIVE PCR or ELISA RESULTS (negative IgM) or ECLIA TEST for COVID-19:
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Countries from which entry to and stay in Montenegro for Montenegrin citizens residing in Montenegro, and foreign citizens residing in Montenegro is possible, in order to determine self-isolation or quarantine measures
All other states
Sources: PCNEN, Vijesti
07 Aug 2020, 00:06 AM

August 6, 2020 - The education system is being prepared for the regular beginning of the school year, which should be acceptable to both parents and students, the Ministry of Education announced, and the portal reports.

They will communicate with the Institute of Public Health in the coming days to receive confirmation.

The Ministry says that, given the public's expected interest, they must announce their position at the beginning of the school year. They point out that the appearance of coronavirus has clearly shown that it is not acceptable to make long-term plans and promises, which can be changed in a few days, due to objective circumstances.

"At the same time, the epidemiological situation changes day by day, and a serious education system must have a support scenario for such unforeseen situations, which are possible in the coming weeks and months," the Ministry of Education claims.

That is why they will record classes for the first quarter, "exclusively as" Plan B ", and not as an already established substitute for regular classes during August."

"Re-recording video lessons will serve as a temporary basis for the education system, so that a possible deterioration of the epidemiological situation would not find us unprepared. However, as we have already said, this basis will most likely serve only as a support to the education system and will be a useful resource for students and teachers in regular classes," the Ministry explains.

They hope that the prescribed measures will assure the improvement of the epidemiological situation and that they will receive confirmation from the competent health institutions that children, to everyone's satisfaction, can be in school in September.

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