July 8, 2020 - On 8th May, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteurs on the right to physical and mental health, the right to privacy and the right to freedom of opinion and expression sent a letter to the Government of Montenegro expressing concern over the publication on the government website of the full names and addresses of individuals in mandatory self-isolation of 14 days due to coronavirus, Human Rights Action (HRA) announced today. HRA emphasized that although an additional statement of the Government was requested on certain controversial issues, it did not respond within the 60-day deadline, which expired yesterday.
“The questions of the rapporteurs addressed to the Government refer to: clarification of the legal basis in domestic law for publishing personal data of persons in self-isolation, necessity and proportionality of measures taken, measures taken to prevent dissemination of published data by private actors, measures taken to prevent the stigmatization of the persons whose data have been published and the threats that those persons may receive, measures taken to consider the opinions of persons suffering from coronavirus on the disclosure of contentious personal data, as well as the measures taken to provide effective remedies to persons whose privacy was violated," HRA stated.
According to HRA, in their letter to the Government, the UN Special Rapporteurs expressed concern that the Government's action violated the right to privacy and the right to health, contrary to Montenegro's international obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Concern was also expressed over the violation of the concept of "informed consent", meaning that the patient must be informed and involved in the decision-making process about their health care.
"The UN special rapporteurs pointed out that they believe that the Law on Personal Data Protection does not provide an adequate justification to deviate from the requirements of the same law, which stipulates that personal data processing may be performed with the prior consent of the persons whose personal data are processed. They also expressed concern that the Government did not provide adequate justification that the disputed measure was suitable for achieving the stated purpose of protecting life and health and that less restrictive measures to protect the lives and health of citizens were not available. Finally, concern was expressed about the stigmatization faced by both adults and children whose identity and address had been published, and the potential threat to their safety this may have caused," HRA added.
Human Rights Action, they emphasize, sent additional information to the special rapporteurs today and asked them if they would publish their additional comment without a statement from the Government.
"Previously, on 24th March, the HRA informed the Special Rapporteurs about the public disclosure of personal data of persons subject to self-isolation measures, and invited them to contact the Government of Montenegro with a recommendation to immediately put a stop to this violation of human rights," the organization notes.
July 7, 2020 - The laboratories of the Institute of Public Health have completed PCR analysis of 445 samples for the new coronavirus in the last 24 hours, among which 66 results were COVID-19 positive, the Institute of Public Health announced. Since the beginning of June, the total number of registered cases is 583. There have been eight deaths. Five patients have recovered and therefore the number of active COVID-19 cases is 570.
These are patients from Podgorica 39, Rožaje 8, Berane 4, Tivat 3, Budva 3, Cetinje 3, Gusinje 3, Bijelo Polje 1, Kotor 1, Pljevlja 1. Twenty new patients are contacts of previously confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Two more deaths have been registered in patients treated at the General Hospital in Berane, and results have come back positive for one suspected coronavirus-related death from Rožaje. The total number of deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of June is eight.
During the day, five patients recovered, one from Cetinje and four from the Berane General Hospital.
Bijelo Polje 56
Herceg Novi 6
Two patients with Covid-19 have died at the General Hospital in Berane, the institution announced. They also stated that two of the 26 COVID-19 patients being treated there were in a critical condition.
The head of the Berane General Hospital's infectious diseases department, Dr. Milovan Živković, highlighted that this hospital had been previously declared a COVID-19 hospital for the north and that as such, seven more municipalities gravitate to it.
"These are the municipalities of Rozaje, Plav, Gusinje, Andrijevica, Bijelo Polje, Mojkovac and Petnjica. In this area today, we have over 220 positive cases of COVID-19. It means that half of the total number of patients in Montenegro rely on this hospital, and the other half on the Clinical Center and other hospitals," said Živković.
The Clinical Center of Montenegro is currently treating 34 confirmed coronavirus patients, one of whom is in the Intensive Care Unit in a critical condition, the health institution announced.
The National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases (NCB) has decided to tighten temporary epidemic measures throughout Montenegro and especially in several municipalities in the Northern region.
The United Kingdom is included in the "green list" of countries whose residents can enter Montenegro without additional conditions.
Residents of Turkey, the UAE, Ukraine, and Belarus are allowed to enter under special arrangements with the MORT and with controls.
The National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases, based on the consent of the majority of members, decided that the parents (guardians) or the foster parent/adoptive parent or single parent of a preschool child should be provided with paid leave.
This measure does not apply to employees in public services and organizations whose work is essential for the current epidemiological situation.
NKT once again calls on state bodies, state administration bodies, local self-government and local administrations, companies, public institutions, and other legal entities, as well as entrepreneurs, to provide such work to employees who can work from home.
Due to the negative epidemiological situation in Montenegro, a measure of compulsory self-isolation of 14 days will be introduced for all Montenegrin citizens who enter Serbia, the Cabinet of the Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabić confirmed to the TANJUG agency.
Last night, the National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases passed a measure according to which a two-week quarantine will be made obligatory for Serbia's citizens upon arrival in Montenegro.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic apologized to Montenegro for claiming earlier that it did not have a PCR laboratory.
Vučić said at the press conference that he had made a mistake, stating that he did not have the correct information.
"I only made one mistake by saying that there are no PCR laboratories in Montenegro. They have them. That's why I apologize, "said Vučić.
He announced that new measures would be introduced in Serbia due to the spread of the virus.
"From tomorrow, any public gathering for more than five people will be banned, either in an open or closed space, and the curfew starts on Friday, until Monday. After that, we will see, "said Vucic.
He pointed out that Serbia does not hide the number of patients and deaths from coronavirus and has carried out the largest number of tests in the region.
The President of the Socialists of Montenegro Snezana Jonica pointed out that the National Coordination Body and the President of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, should put citizens' health before the political interest of the government when it comes to holding elections. Otherwise, they will be proving that they are pursuing a policy of double yardstick.
"It is time for NKT and Djukanovic to answer the question - do they care more about the health of Montenegrin citizens or the election result of the DPS?"
The Montenegrin football championship has been suspended, the Football Association of Montenegro (FSCG) Executive Board has decided.
The members of the Executive Board adopted the proposal to cancel competitions organized by the Football Association - Telecom 1. CFL, Second League, Youth League, Cadet League, Cup of Montenegro and Women's Football League - and all competitions of the Association of FSCG Clubs (South, Center, and North).
The results of matches up until the end of the competition will be considered final. Based on these, announcements will be made regarding the winners, participants in the qualifications for European competitions, participants in the playoffs, and delegated clubs.
July 7, 2020 - The start of the International Festival KotorArt Don Branko's Music Days is planned this year for Wednesday, 15th July, when the audience at Boka Cinema will have the opportunity to view a film production by the German media house Deutsche Welle. The documentary "Symphony for the World" is a unique production that speaks of the power and universality of the language of music and its strong messages that are understood the world over, regardless of cultural, religious, national, ideological, geographical and any other differences. Specifically, the documentary is about Beethoven's famous Ninth Symphony and its multiple meanings. The partner of this project is the Kotor Cultural Centre "Nikola Đurković".
“We have moved our traditional opening concert of the Festival to August, as for this event we are already accustomed to a large audience - we are acting responsibly given the current situation and we are respecting all NKT measures, as well as responding to all challenges swiftly and competently. We plan to be able to completely control all aspects of the organisation process of the concerts, and implement all the precautionary measures prescribed by the NCT. At a time when the whole world, including our society, is going through a period of uncertainty and insecurity in many aspects of life, we want to provide a piece of what many call “food for the soul,” and at least a little of the everyday joy that until recently was a part of our daily lives. We understand through experience that mental and spiritual health is as important as physical health, and art has always, as evidenced by many examples from the past, helped to overcome many difficult periods in the history of mankind. We hope that our events will provide local people with a slightly brighter, more humane and beautiful everyday life. We hope that we will be able to provide some comfort, some affirmation of the special threads that bind us together, threads that remain even when we are not allowed to hug because of distance measures, when we cannot recognize each other because of protective masks, or when we are in quarantine, keeping ourselves away from others. The art of music is one of those threads.” says a statement by the Festival’s PR service.
“The audience of KotorArt Don Branko's Music Days has become accustomed to receiving information about the programme for the forthcoming summer in March. This year, due to extraordinary circumstances, we ask our audience to follow the official website of the Festival, www.kotorart.me as well as social networks - Facebook and Instagram pages, where we will publish possible, or more likely probable, programme changes. There are several Festival teams that closely follow the recommendations of the NKT and adjust every aspect of the Festival to these.”
“The ceremonial opening programme of the Festival, planned for 14th July, has been moved to close this year's event. Considering that the evening is completely dedicated to Beethoven, we believe that it will be a beautiful and fitting way for the Festival to ensure a dignified celebration of his 250th birthday. On the occasion of this anniversary, as well as facing the challenges of life, and given the position and message of art in this unusual moment for the entire world, the festival is preparing additional activities and programme events that will soon be announced to the general public.” the Festival PR service added.
KotorArt Kotor Children's Theatre Festival has already begun in Kotor. All large-scale performances have been postponed until August, but the accompanying programmes and workshops with children from Kotor have been launched, to the great joy of the children, who are reacting superbly in new circumstances and are quickly adapting to their "new reality".
July 6, 2020 - Mackerel is swimming 20 meters from the shore in Muo. Shoals of sardines surround the octopus relaxing in the shallows. Hundreds of kilos of mullet just waiting to be caught, while a beautiful sea turtle roams in Stoliv. Are these direct results of the coronavirus impact on the sea ecosystem, or is it a natural cycle conditioned by factors outside the influence of man?
On July 5, 2020 - The Tivat Police Force have filed a criminal complaint against the President of the Municipality of Tivat, Siniša Kusovac, for violating the measure of self-isolation.
"Officials of the Security Department of Tivat, on the order of the competent state prosecutor, have filed a criminal complaint against the President of the Municipality of Tivat, Siniša Kusovac. The reason is a well-founded suspicion that he committed the criminal offense of failing to comply with health regulations to combat dangerous infectious diseases by violating the measure of compulsory self-isolation at home, " the Police Administration announced.
Numerous individuals claim that they saw him yesterday afternoon on the Žukovica beach in Donji Grbalj - Vijesti writes.
Tivat resident and Vijesti correspondent from the area Siniša Luković reported to the police yesterday that the President of the Municipality of Tivat Siniša Kusovac had been spotted during the day in Žukovica - Municipality of Kotor - thus violating the self-isolation measure established by the health and sanitary inspection, Tivat police announced to Radio Tivat.
Kusovac confirmed that he was there, but claims that he did not get out of the car and that he did not violate his self-isolation.
According to individuals in the locality, Kusovac was in Žukovica yesterday between 5 and 6 pm - one of the most beautiful, but somewhat isolated beaches in Boka.
He arrived in the official car of Tivat Municipality, a black "Nissan Quashqai" (TV MN 001), which he had previously put at his own disposal for 24 hours.
When one of member of the public went to take a photograph, Kusovac allegedly noticed and quickly got into the car, and drove away. However, witnesses spotted a black Nissan travelling along the road from Žukovica to Glavatičići. Although he did not initially answer the phone or reply to an SMS from "Vijesti," Kusovac later told the journalist in a telephone conversation that he had not left his house, and he was certainly not in Žukovica.
However, when asked who had been on a non-working day in Žukovica, if not the person provided with the official vehicle, Kusovac responded confusedly and then said that another person from the Municipality might have used the vehicle. He later changed the story after "Vijesti" sent him a photo of the municiple vehicle on a country road and asked for an official statement:
"I went down (to Žukovica) and was there for literally two minutes. I did not bathe in Žukovica, but I left the place of self-isolation for a short time due to a private problem, with the competent sanitary inspector's consent. By the way, the village of Glavatičići in Grblja was assigned to me as my place of self-isolation, not Tivat. I did not violate my self-isolation because I did not get out of the car, and I was not in contact with anyone. Feel free to let those who saw me there report if I talked to anyone there, let them say how long it took and what it was. I reported everything to the police and the sanitary inspectorate. It is my view that I did not violate self-isolation, "Kusovac told Vijesti, not wanting to answer the question of what he was looking for on Saturday afternoon in Donji Grbalj and why he was leaving the house.
Due to the fact that he had been in contact with a teacher from the Tivat kindergarten "Bambi" at a meeting in the Municipality last week, who was confirmed to have a coronavirus infection late Sunday evening, June 29, Kusovac has been officially in self-isolation since Thursday, July 2.
He was tested for coronavirus, but has not yet made any announcement as to the result.
Before announcing that he had been placed in self-isolation on Thursday, Kusovac went to work for three days and contacted numerous members of the public. On Tuesday, June 30, he attended and spoke at a session of the local parliament.
Those who violate self-isolation measures, according to the valid regulations in Montenegro, can be fined or imprisoned for up to a year.
Another criminal offense that can be brought against persons who violate self-isolation and are confirmed to be infected is the transmission of dangerous infectious diseases. Anyone who does not act according to orders to stop the spread of the infectious disease can be sentenced to between one and three years in prison.
July 5, 2020 - In the last 24 hours, the laboratories of the Institute of Public Health have carried out PCR analysis of 450 samples for the new coronavirus, among which COVID-19 infection was recorded in 61 cases. These are patients from Rožaje 28, Bijelo Polje 9, Podgorica 7, Budva 5, Bar 3, Cetinje 3, Kotor 3, Pljevlja 2, Nikšić 1.
"Out of 61 newly discovered COVID-19 cases, 46 are contacts of previously confirmed cases, in 14 patients the source of infection is as yet unknown, and one case is imported. Since the beginning of June, the number of registered cases is 457, with five deaths, and the number of active cases is 452," it was announced from the Institute of Public Health.
Bijelo Polje 53
Herceg Novi 6
"At the Clinical Center of Montenegro, 31 patients are currently being treated in whom the presence of the COVID-19 virus has been confirmed, of which nine are in the Semi-Intensive Unit, and one in a life-threatening condition it the Intensive Care Unit," the KCCG said.
If the public does not behave responsibly and reduce their daily commitments, Kavarić says that he will propose to the NCT the introduction of additional measures for the area of Podgorica.
"We will propose this to prevent further escalation of the number of patients, which could jeopardize the functionality of the health system," said Kavarić. The option of closing the capital is still on the table if the need arises.
"It is within the domain of the epidemiological service. It remains for us to appeal to the citizens to behave in a disciplined manner. Visiting cafes and restaurants is recommended only when necessary, with recommendations that apply to all other closed facilities, such as wearing a mask, distancing and washing your hands. These are three simple instructions that mean a lot and reduce the chain of transmission to practically zero. We all know that that the public does not necessarily adhere to these rules, "claims Kavarić.
Considering the current daily shift in the epidemiological situation and the increased number of patients, the Health Center Podgorica will intensify the work of the COVID-19 center in Tološi.
"We ask people to be responsible and patient in keeping their distance while waiting for the COVID-19 center examination. And it is worth mentioning once again to wear a mask in the facilities of the Health Center. I would appeal to the public to reduce regular health needs in other parts of the Health Center to what is really necessary, and to utilize online systems whre available. All the facilities of the Health Center are still functioning. In accordance with the unfolding situation in the area of the Capital, the public will be informed in a timely manner if facilities are relocated, "concluded the Director of the Podgorica Health Center, Dr. Nebojsa Kavaric.
As a member of the Crisis Medical Team, Dr. Kavarić will stay in Rožaje for the next seven days, thus helping the Health Center implement the recommendations of the National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases.
The Institute of Public Health has updated the list of countries from which it is possible to enter Montenegro. The news is that from tomorrow, passengers from the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and Canada will be able to enter the country with a PCR, ELISA, or ECLIA test. Arrival from Serbia is still not possible without quarantine.
July 4, 2020 - The laboratories of the Institute of Public Health (IJZCG) have analysed 548 samples for the new coronavirus in the last 24 hours, among which 57 results were positive.
The new cases are from Bijelo Polje (25), Podgorica (19), Pljevalja (6), Rožaje (2), Herceg Novi (2), Bar (1), Cetinje (1) and Nikšić (1).
Of the 57 new cases, 35 are contacts of previously-confirmed cases, whereas the source of the infection is still being traced in 21 of the patients. One case is imported.
From 1st June a total of 396 cases have been registered, with four deaths and 392 active cases.
Active COVID-19 cases by municipality:
Bijelo Polje 44
Herceg Novi 6
Beaches applying counter-COVID-19 measures
Chief tourist inspector Svetlana Šljivančanin said that the beaches on the Montenegrin coast are safe for tourists, because, as she pointed out, they are being monitored and maintained by Morsko Dobro, the tenant-operators, and also the Tourist Inspectorate.
Šljivančanin spoke to the morning programme of Television Montenegro (TVCG), stating that the agreements concluded between the tenants of the beaches and Morsko Dobro, alongside the operational approval given by the Secretariat for the Economy, are proof that the beaches are safe.
"The beaches are safe because they are being taken care of by the representatives of Morsko Dobro and the tenants, as well as the Tourist Inspectorate, as a control body. "All tenants must have a contract with Morsko Dobro, as well as a work permit from the Secretariat for the Economy, and that is proof that the beaches are safe and that equipment provided fully meets regulatory standards," said Šljivančanin.
Tenants, she said, are obliged to respect the relevant regulations, and as of this year, they are also obliged to respect the recommendations of the National Coordination Body (NCT) and the Institute of Public Health (IPH).
"We also visit the beaches on a daily basis and monitor whether the tenants are working within the legal provisions," said Šljivančanin.
As she states, there are both binding measures, and those recommended by the IPH when it comes to bathing areas.
"Tenants are obliged to provide clear notices on temporary measures to prevent and protect against the virus at the entrance to the bathing area; they are also obliged to have their staff wear protective equipment, as well as to keep beach chairs and loungers at least two metres apart, to ensure that these are disinfected, alongside cabins, showers, toilets, equipment for children; they are also obliged to keep disinfectant at the entrance and exit from the bathing area,” said Sljivancanin.
Hygiene at bathing areas not run by tenant-operators, said the chief tourism inspector, is maintained by the utility company in each municipality.