Most Montenegrins infected with coronavirus at funerals, family gatherings

NEWS 18.04.2020 11:50
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Source: SAVO PRELEVIC / AFP

Montenegro has registered 303 COVID-19 cases and five deaths since the first case of the novel coronavirus was confirmed in the country, the Public Health Institute said on Friday, which its head assessed as good.

Speaking for BBC in the Serbian language, Senad Begic said funerals and family gatherings were the main sources of contagion in Montenegro and that the problem the country's epidemiologists encountered at the beginning of the epidemic was the social condemnation of those infected.

Montenegro was the last in Europe to record its first coronavirus case, on March 17. The government adopted the first protection measures a week earlier, banning public gatherings, suspending school, closing bars and restaurants, and making most employees work from home.

All that has resulted in a good response by the Montenegrin system to the pandemic, Begic said.

The US government has donated $300,000 to Montenegro to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, saying it was the continuation of long term US investment in Montenegro totalling $32 million, including over $1 million to help the health sector.

As a friend, partner and ally, the US government is proud to continue its years-long support for the development of Montenegro's healthcare system and economy, US ambassador Judy Rising Reinke has said in a press release, adding that the US stands shoulder to shoulder with its NATO ally in order to cope with the many consequences of the COVID_19 crisis together.

Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic has thanked Washington, tweeting that “As always, the US stands by Montenegro, further solidifying our alliance and cooperation.”

The European Union has approved €3 million in urgent aid for Montenegro and another €50 million for the recovery of Montenegro's economic, welfare and healthcare systems from the coronavirus epidemic.