- Title: Montenegro only European country without confirmed case of coronavirus
- Date: 13th March 2020
- Summary: PODGORICA, MONTENEGRO (MARCH 13, 2020) (REUTERS) SNOW-COVERED MOUNTAIN SEEN ABOVE ROOFTOPS VARIOUS OF TOP VIEW OF PODGORICA PEOPLE SITTING OUTSIDE IN SUN WOMAN PUSHING STROLLER AND TALKING ON PHONE YOUNG PEOPLE WALKING IN STREET YOUNG WOMEN WALKING, ONE PUSHING STROLLER WITH BABY SQUINTING INTO SUN (SOUNDBITE) (Montenegrin) RETIRED SOLDIER, ZDRAVKO VLAHOVIC, SAYING: "We, Montenegrins, are used to much stronger viruses, they couldn't touch us. Many armies came here, we defeated them. Now some common virus. What corona?" (SOUNDBITE) (Montenegrin) JOURNALIST, MAJA SCEPANOVIC, SAYING: "There really is no fear. I really am not afraid, but am nevertheless playing it safe - I take care of my immunity and carry disinfectants. I hear it (coronavirus) has not appeared in Montenegro, so it seems that we Montenegrins are more resistant than we may actually think." VARIOUS OF MAN WITH DOG ON LEASH SOUNDBITE) (Montenegrin) ECONOMIST, FILIP KALUDJEROVIC, SAYING: "Food is stockpiled, masks are on faces, I have no clue what it's all about. We already saw this around 10 years ago, when we had that bird flu, then the swine flu and - nothing. They all remain just as names, the swine and bird flu and corona. That's it." (SOUNDBITE) (Montenegrin) PODGORICA RESIDENT. KRISTINA POPOVIC, SAYING: "Now, it is a big question whether there is coronavirus in Montenegro. There may be and there may be none, but what's certain is that we Montenegrins definitely have strong immunity." MONTENEGRIN INSTITUTE FOR IMMUNOLOGY STAFF ENTERING ROOM HANDS PULLING LATEX GLOVES FROM BOX VARIOUS OF STAFF WORKING ON SAMPLES (SOUNDBITE) (Montenegrin) EPIDEMIOLOGIST SENAD BEGIC, SAYING "So, our system is actively searching and, with lab, epidemiology and communication measures we believe the system is sensitive enough to identify a possible import (of coronavirus) and react swiftly. Regarding testing, with the ratio of 8.2 out of each 100,000 inhabitants tested, Montenegro is the regional leader."
- Keywords: Balkans COVID-19 Montenegro coronavirus only European country without case
- Reuters ID: LVA001C4VZ7LZ
- Location: PODGORICA AND KOTOR, MONTENEGRO
- City: PODGORICA AND KOTOR, MONTENEGRO
- Country: Montenegro
- Duration: 00:02:47
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: After Kosovo confirmed its first cases of coronavirus on Friday (March 13) neighbouring Montenegro is now the only country in Europe officially free of the virus.
Although some in the capital Podgorica said the lack of confirmed cases proved Montenegrins' resistance and there was not a great amount of concern in the country, others said they were taking precautions, adding they had seen people wearing masks and shoppers stockpiling food.
On Thursday (March 12) Serbian Orthodox believers taking part in one of a series of protests continued to kiss an icon in a Podgorica cathedral during a religious service.
Epidemiologist Senad Begic said Montenegro was actively screening for the virus and that the system was sensitive enough to quickly find and react to any cases.
According to Begic, Montenegro has so far tested 8.2 people for every 100,000 inhabitants, which he said made the small Balkan country "the regional leader" for performing tests.
Montenegro is barring all public gatherings, closing schools for at least two weeks, and closing border crossings with neighbouring countries to try to curb the spread of the disease, according to a statement from the country's health ministry on Friday.
The Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, which has staged mass protests against a hotly contested religion law for months, said it will temporarily halt weekly rallies throughout the country.
The former Yugoslav republic, which makes most of its budget revenues from tourism, also closed its ports and marinas for all incoming cruise ships and yachts.
(Production: Nikola Brajovic, Stevo Vasiljevic, Fedja Grulovic, Boki Babic, Lewis Macdonald)
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