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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, April 8, 2020

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UNMIK Media Observer, Afternoon Edition, April 8, 2020

Albanian Language Media:

• Kurti visits Klina, Peja and Gjakova (media)
• Thaci thanks Erdogan for medical aid to Kosovo (media)
• Veseli welcomes World Justice Project index ranking Kosovo on 54th place (media)
• Police lieutenant arrested for failing to respect government measures (media)
• Kurti on Roma Day: We will fight poverty through education (media)
• Germany supports Kosovo with two grants worth over €13 million (media)

Serbian Language Media:

• In Serbian areas three new cases, a total of 36 infected individuals (Kosovo Online)
• Rasic: Belgrade ignored rise of infection in northern Kosovo (RTK2, Kontakt plus radio, Beta, N1)
• Serbian List: Rasic once again showed he is disgrace of Serbian people (TV Most)
• VoA: Serb majority municipalities received insufficient medical assistance; a difficult situation at the clinic in Laplje Selo (Kontakt plus radio)
• USAID Director Magno: US assistance targets everyone in Kosovo (KIM Radio)
• WHO warns against easing coronavirus measures ‘too early’ (B92. VoA)
• Three more deaths in Serbia; “We will reach peak now, next 10 days are crucial” (B92)
• Weekend coronavirus related curfew extended from Friday to Monday in Serbia (RTS, N1, Tanjug)
• Djuric: Hospital in Mitrovica North to receive respirator and 1000 protective garments (KoSSev)
• Lawyer: Health condition of Zlatan Krstic rapidly deteriorates (Kosovo-online)
• EU and Western Balkans leaders’ summit postponed over Covid-19 (RTS)

Opinion:

• Applauding Kurti’s Fall, the US is Testing Kosovo’s Loyalty (Balkan Insight)

Humanitarian/Development:

• Kon: If we want to impose more drastic measures, we should do it now (B92)

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Albanian Language Media:

  • Kurti visits Klina, Peja and Gjakova (media)
  • Thaci thanks Erdogan for medical aid to Kosovo (media)
  • Veseli welcomes World Justice Project index ranking Kosovo on 54th place (media)
  • Police lieutenant arrested for failing to respect government measures (media)
  • Kurti on Roma Day: We will fight poverty through education (media)
  • Germany supports Kosovo with two grants worth over €13 million (media)

Serbian Language Media:

  • In Serbian areas three new cases, a total of 36 infected individuals (Kosovo Online)
  • Rasic: Belgrade ignored rise of infection in northern Kosovo (RTK2, Kontakt plus radio, Beta, N1)
  • Serbian List: Rasic once again showed he is disgrace of Serbian people (TV Most)
  • VoA: Serb majority municipalities received insufficient medical assistance; a difficult situation at the clinic in Laplje Selo (Kontakt plus radio)
  • USAID Director Magno: US assistance targets everyone in Kosovo (KIM Radio)
  • WHO warns against easing coronavirus measures ‘too early’ (B92. VoA)
  • Three more deaths in Serbia; “We will reach peak now, next 10 days are crucial”  (B92)
  • Weekend coronavirus related curfew extended from Friday to Monday in Serbia (RTS, N1, Tanjug)
  • Djuric: Hospital in Mitrovica North to receive respirator and 1000 protective garments (KoSSev)
  • Lawyer: Health condition of Zlatan Krstic rapidly deteriorates (Kosovo-online)
  • EU and Western Balkans leaders’ summit postponed over Covid-19 (RTS)

Opinion:

  • Applauding Kurti’s Fall, the US is Testing Kosovo’s Loyalty (Balkan Insight)

Humanitarian/Development:

  • Kon: If we want to impose more drastic measures, we should do it now (B92)

 

 

Albanian Language Media

 

Kurti visits Klina, Peja and Gjakova (media)

Several news websites report that Kosovo’s acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti visited the municipalities of Klina, Peja and Gjakova today. During his stay in Gjakova, Kurti called on citizens to maintain their individual hygiene and to be careful during the time of the coronavirus pandemic.

“As our healthcare sector is not at a satisfactory level, Kosovo as a whole and every municipality must focus on prevention. We need to maintain physical distance, stay at home, only one family member should go out to get supplies and everyone must maintain their individual hygiene. We know that people look better after taking a shower but now we need to take a shower the minute we go inside our homes. I call on citizens that go outside to take a shower the minute they go back inside their homes in order to prevent the potential spread of the virus in their families,” Kurti said.

Asked to comment on claims that he is not paying enough attention to the municipality of Malisheva, which was most hit by the virus, Kurti said: “I visited Gjilan yesterday, today I visited Klina, Peja and Gjakova. I didn’t go there yet, because [acting Interior] Minister Svecla was there. I will visit Malisheva tomorrow”.

Thaci thanks Erdogan for medical aid to Kosovo (media)

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci took to Twitter today to thank Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the medical aid to Kosovo. “Following my phone conversation w/ President @RTErdogan we accepted a package of medical aid as assistance from #Turkey to #Kosovo to help fight #COVID19. Deeply grateful to President Erdogan and Turkey for supporting Kosovo in this unprecedented time. #StrongerWithAllies,” Thaci tweeted.

Veseli welcomes World Justice Project index ranking Kosovo on 54th place (media)

Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) leader Kadri Veseli commented on the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index for 2020 today which places Kosovo on the 54th place. Veseli said despite great challenges, Kosovo has made significant progress in the rule of law. “This indicator serves to refute nihilistic voices in Kosovo that deny every progress and waste no time in staining the reputation of our state. There is no doubt that Kosovo has a long road ahead in the field of rule of law, room for greater progress in the fight against corruption, however, it is completely unreasonable to deny the successes we have achieved so far,” Veseli said.

Police lieutenant arrested for failing to respect government measures (media)

Several news websites report that a police lieutenant from the region of Gjilan was arrested on Tuesday evening by the Police Inspectorate for failing to respect the curfew.

Citing unnamed sources, Indeksonline reports that the police officer was off duty and was at a casino in the village of Karaceve on the border between Kosovo and Serbia. 

The police officer was sent to detention for 48 hours and has been suspended.

Kosovo’s Acting Minister of Interior Affairs, Xhelal Svecla said in a reaction: “Kosovo police officers need to guarantee the implementation of the law and such violations are a bad example for Kosovo citizens, as we are repeatedly calling on them to follow the instructions of institutions”.

Kurti on Roma Day: We will fight poverty through education (media) 

Kosovo’s acting Prime Minister, Albin Kurti, congratulated today the Roma community in Kosovo on the International Roma Day, saying he will not stop working to provide equal opportunities for development for all Kosovo’s citizens. Kurti said poverty must be fought through education and stereotypes through cooperation.

“We will not stop because unlike others we do not measure societal progress with the conditions, opportunities and the wellbeing of those at the top, but with the opportunities and wellbeing of those who are at the bottom. Unfortunately, there are many at the bottom: nearly 18 percent of our citizens live under the poverty ceiling. We must fight poverty through education and stereotypes through cooperation,” Kurti said. 

“The government through its policies will create equal conditions and opportunities to ensure equal rights. This is why we will intervene with favorising policies in areas where the enjoyment of rights is rendered impossible by the lack of opportunities. Our future lies in the qualitative education of our children … Every child will have equal conditions to qualitative education regardless of their background and regardless of what their parents earn. Let us work together every day because we have a joint state and future.”

Germany supports Kosovo with two grants worth over €13 million (media)

The acting Government of Kosovo, represented by the acting Minister of Finance and Transfers, Mr. Besnik Bislimi together with the representative of the German Development Bank KfW, Mr. Rene Eschemann, and in the presence of the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr. Christian Heldt, held a signing ceremony today for two grant agreements totaling 13.5 million euros, a statement issued by the German Embassy in Pristina announced.

“The € 6.5 million agreement aims to support the Kosovo Credit Guarantee Fund (KCGF) by increasing its guarantee capital, which, through its “Agro Window” provides agrobusinesses with access to finance to support their activities through financial institutions in Kosovo,” while the rest of the funds will be aimed at establishing  the “Kosovo Challenge Fund – Vocational Education and Training” to reconcile the mismatch between the skills gained from vocational education and training with the needs of the labour market in Kosovo, and thus increase the number of skilled workers for companies.

Acting  Minister Bislimi underlined that Germany is one of the main partners in achieving Kosovo’s aspirations for economic development and integration into the European Union while Ambassador Heldt commended the readiness of the acting Government of Kosovo for the work being done at this time of the Corona Pandemic, as well as the importance of the two signed agreements for the economic development in Kosovo. 

 

 

Serbian Language Media

 

In Serbian areas three new cases, a total of 36 infected individuals (Kosovo Online)

Portal Kosovo online reports that Kosovska Mitrovica crisis staff announced today at a press conference that three new cases of coronavirus infections were registered in Serbian majority communities in Kosovo, bringing the total number to 36.

Three new coronavirus cases have been reported in North Mitrovica (2) and Zvecan (1), and the citizens of the two municipalities have been quarantined since the weekend to prevent the spread of the virus.

Serbian patients are treated at the Clinical Hospital Centre in North Mitrovica, where 11 patients are accommodated,  five patients are at the Clinical Centre in Nis, two are hospitalized at the Clinical Centre of Serbia in Belgrade, and 17 patients are accommodated at the Student Centre in North Mitrovica and are under the constant supervision of physicians. 

Rasic: Belgrade ignored rise of infection in northern Kosovo (RTK2, Kontakt plus radio, Beta, N1) 

Newly appointed head of Kosovo Government’s Office for Communities, Nenad Rasic said on Wednesday that the suppression of the coronavirus pandemic was the main priority in Kosovo, and the challenge that could unite both the Albanians and Serbs in that fight, Serbian media quoted the interview with Radio Kosovo 2 in Serbian language. 

He also accused Belgrade of ignoring the pandemic in northern Kosovo for the first several weeks of the pandemic. 

“Unfortunately, not enough attention was paid in the beginning. A belated warning from Belgrade led to a rise in the number of infected,” Rasic told Radio Kosovo 2 in Serbian language.

He said that the Serbs in the South were in a different position since “they have listened to advice from Pristina.”

“We started with isolation on time… That’s why the Serbs living in the south are less endangered,” according to Rasic. 

Speaking about the Kosovo Government aid package for several population categories, he said that pensioners and some other social groups would get a double monthly pay in April and May. Rasic added that additional funding was provided for those categories that receive less than € 100. Workers of trade associations will be paid € 170 and plus contributions, € 300 will be given to workers at risk of the virus, € 100 to workers in shops and € 130 to workers who lost their jobs due to the crisis

He pointed out that two million euros were allocated for assistance only to the communities and the vulnerable, and that his office will oversee distribution of these funds.

“These are projects that will repair some of the damage done by the coronavirus,” Rasic said.

“There may be a demand for medicines, home care, visits by healthcare professionals to those who are isolated or alone. It’s not just about buying oil, but more than that,” Rasic said.

“Also, anyone who lives in difficult conditions and does not have any benefits from the budget, such as younger people, and who live in not so good circumstances, will be able to receive from the budget 130 euros for the next three months. These are all measures that will according to the Government’s plan be adopted and financed by May 25,” Rasic said.

Rasic said that the woman from Dobrotin, who was claimed to have a coronavirus, allegedly turned out not to be infected with the virus, based on the results of a test that arrived at the Clinical Hospital Center in Gracanica.

He added that it is absurd that although the Gracanica hospital has an official report that the lady was not positive, it still has not been released to the public, and she was still reported to be positive for COVID-19.

Rasic told Radio Kosovo 2 that he had not yet met the ministers from the Serbian List but added that the Office for Communities envisages cooperation with the ministries, and that it is “a matter of day when we will meet”.

However, he believes that the life of Serbs in Kosovo has changed for the worse since the Serbian List emerged on Kosovo’s political scene.

“From one virtually incomplete society that was well on the way to integration, occupying in my opinion good and important functions within the Kosovo system, in the police, health and judiciary and all other sectors which meant a lot for the Serbs to stay here… since the arrival of the Serbian List, we have virtually no integration but disintegration from the Kosovo system, we have a high degree of intolerance between Serbs and Albanians, a high degree of emigration of Serbs,” Rasic said. 

“We see many people following their stomachs and going anywhere. When you say what the impact of the Serbian List is – I see only the negative one. If we talk about the long-term stay of the Serbs, the arrival of the Serbian List did everything that any other Serb list would not do. – that is, to disunite the people, to make them feel completely demoralized, apathetic, to simply indulge in their destiny and send their children anywhere only not them to be here,” said Rasic. 

He said that the biggest defeat was that people thought about where to send their children.

“In the long run, they have made such consequences that none of us or those people my age do not plan to affirm and encourage their children to stay here. To me, this is the best indication of how much damage they have done by their actions, because they polarized the Kosovo Serbs, disconnected them from Kosovo institutions and manipulated them by Belgrade institutions. We are left to ourselves but unfortunately we are not ready still to fight for ourselves,” Rasic said, adding that a new hope for the future was a new generation of young politicians.

Serbian List: Rasic once again showed he is disgrace of Serbian people (TV Most)

Serbian List in a reaction to the statements Nenad Rasic made on coronavirus and Belgrade responsibility for its spread in the north of Kosovo, said that Rasic as ordered by his employers and masters has uttered “the most monstrous lies, by attributing responsibility to Serbia, and at the same time makes an insane claim that our people got infected with coronavirus because they did not follow Pristina’s instructions,” TV Most reports.

Serbian List added that by doing so, Rasic “spitted on the face of his infected compatriots, doctors and volunteers, as well as Serbian health system that has proved at the times of pandemic how well it is organized and ready to face the most difficult challenges.”

SL further said that the Serbs south of the Ibar River were speared from infection not because they respected Pristina’s instructions and implemented the measures of self-isolation in a disciplined manner, but because they are living in ghettos and forced isolation for two decades, imposed by the very same Pristina.

“Rasic once again showed that he is a disgrace of the Serbian people…,” Serbian List said.

VoA: Serb majority municipalities received insufficient medical assistance; a difficult situation at the clinic in Laplje Selo (Kontakt plus radio)

Last week the VoA asked the Kosovo Ministry of Health if health facilities in Serbian communities were also being helped from the Kosovo budget. The VoA received a response that nine out of 10 Serb-majority municipalities received protective equipment and other equipment from the Kosovo government to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“As part of the supply, the Ministry of Health provided municipalities in Kosovo with protective means and equipment – FFP2 respirator masks, surgical masks, body protective clothing, gloves, goggles, disinfectants and other means. Municipalities with majority Serb populations have also been provided with this protective equipment,” the Kosovo Ministry of Health stated.

Except the municipality of Klokot, all majority Serb municipalities received some assistance. The Voice of America also asked the mayors of Serb-majority municipalities what exactly they received and what is the quantity at stake. 

Most of them sent the reply that this was generally insufficient and that these were quantities that did not contribute to the effective fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The municipalities from which the VoA received the answer were: Gracanica, Partes, Ranilug, Strpce and Leposavic. These municipalities received only protective equipment and disinfectants, which are generally enough for some municipalities for 5 to 15 days and depending on the epidemiological situation, while in Gracanica, for example, these funds were almost spent.

A few days ago, the North Mitrovica Hospital Center and the Gracanica Health Center also received medical equipment and supplies from UNICEF to combat Kovid-19.

UNICEF, as well as these health institutions, did not announce exactly about the quantity, according to VoA.  

Director of the Health Center in Gracanica, Mirjana Dimitrijevic told Voice of America that this equipment is “sufficient for a short period, depending on the epidemiological situation.”

Assistance in equipment and medical supplies for healthcare facilities, as well as other assistance to the population in Serb communities – according to Marko Djuric, director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija – also arrived from Belgrade.

Likewise, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic spoke about Kosovo during his visit to Novi Pazar yesterday, reports VoA. 

Asked by reporters, “what the state has done for our people in Kosovo and what about the supply of food and medical equipment,” Vucic said that 248 trucks of Serbian goods were sent to Kosovo, without specifying where those trucks were sent, nor whether it was assistance or business of traders after abolishment of the 100 percent import tariffs on goods from Serbia.

And while it appears that assistance is coming from almost all sides for Serbian health care institutions in Kosovo – from Pristina, from foreigners and from Belgrade, the Voice of America from multiple sources at an internal clinic in Laplje Selo, which operates within the Clinical Hospital Center in Gracanica, learned that healthcare professionals in this facility were in urgent need of protective equipment and medical supplies because they do not have enough to fight Covid-19 effectively.

Medical professionals who wished to remain anonymous, pointed to the Voice of America to an often lack of needed medication, which was a long-standing problem and before the pandemic, and stated that in a new situation caused by a coronavirus, they received one regular surgical mask and two pairs of gloves per day. 

Otherwise, the only Serb person south of the Ibar River who had coronavirus spent one night at this clinic, which is why more than 10 workers at the facility were in isolation, reports VoA. 

VoA tried to contact the director of Gracanica Hospital, Bratislav Lazic to see whether and what was the situation at the internal clinic in Laplje Selo. So far, the VoA did not receive an answer.

USAID Director Magno: US assistance targets everyone in Kosovo (KIM Radio)

The recently announced $ 1.1 million coronavirus assistance is aimed at everyone in Kosovo, USAID Director Lisa Magno said in an interview with RTV Kim. 

“We will work with institutions to make distribution more efficient,” she said. 

US Ambassador Philip Kosnett announced recently $ 1.1 million assistance to Kosovo in the fight against Covid 19. What exactly does that aid mean?

-It is true that we have provided $ 1.1 million for Kosovo, especially as part of operational assistance as well as enhancing Kosovo’s response capacity, so that we can help communities here prevent the spread and mitigate the effects of coronavirus. I think the good thing the data for Kosovo shows us is that most, if not all cases, are from known contacts, that there are no community transfers in Kosovo, which is why adherence to preventive measures by citizens and communities in Kosovo goes hand in hand with reducing the impact of coronaviruses.

This assistance is intended for whom? Are these health institutions in Kosovo?

-The assistance is intended for all people in Kosovo. We work with trusted partners who are experts in responding to these types of crises, especially with the local branch of the World Health Organization, as well as with UNICEF, which also has offices here. These agencies, plus the United Nations Kosovo Team… So, USAID is working closely with them. We are also coordinating our work with the Ministry of Health, especially now as we begin concrete actions in communities.

Will this assistance also reach Serbian hospitals operating in poor conditions? The hospital in Gracanica has only two respirators, and other medical equipment and drugs are missing.

-So, part of the help is actually for families, because with UNICEF we are working on sharing hygiene packages to families. It is very important that in families, at the community level, people have what they need to help fight the coronavirus. As agreed with UNICEF and the Ministry of Health, it will go to all communities, be it the Kosovo Albanian community or the Kosovo Serb community. Now, as far as your question about the equipment is concerned, both USAID and WHO are particularly aware that the Gracanica clinic stands bad with the equipment. We are working to help the Gracanica Clinic in particular, as well as other departments that can reach the Kosovo Serb community. Part of what we are working on now is, as you know it is difficult to come up with such equipment because the whole world is buying that equipment, and because of transportation difficulties, sending every purchase of such equipment is problematic. But what I can say now is that we are definitely working on it, and we are quite aware that the clinic in Gracanica is the one that is critical, and we want to ensure that the diagnostic laboratory in Pristina, as well as other departments serving the Kosovo Serb community, are able to improve their testing capacity.

So far, much international assistance has arrived in Kosovo, and very little of that assistance has reached Serb-populated areas? How do you look at this attitude of the international community towards one part of the population?

-I think that is a good message for us to improve our current enforcement. I know that UNICEF received several tons of supplies from its sources last Monday. We will definitely work with relevant institutions to make distribution more efficient. I would emphasize that the intention is that whatever assistance is available be provided to all communities. I would like to refer to the press conference where Minister for Communities and Returns Dalibor Jevtic and Acting Minister of Health Vitia had a clear message last Friday that the assistance, be it  from the government, the international community, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, would definitely ensure this assistance to reach all communities.

What are USAID’s recent activities?

-We continue with our activities; in fact, it would be good to mention Gracanica. We have selected Gracanica as a pilot community for one of our ongoing economic management projects. In particular, we help the municipality as well as citizens streamline the process of issuing building permits, so we continue with these activities. Also, in the field of medicinal and aromatic herbs, we work a lot for the Kosovo Serb community, promoting trade and economic opportunities between medicinal and aromatic plant growers, as well as distributors and exporters of these herbs. If I may, there is one more thing I would like to mention because I really want to say out loud to people, for example, I know that the Gracanica Innovation Center, which we are fortunate to be in contact with, we know that they donated the visors they made for the Gracanica hospital . It is very good for organizations at the municipal level to contribute. I know that when GIC was left without raw materials for production, “Foremon”, an organization working in Pristina, actually donated raw materials to them so that they could continue their production for the Gracanica clinic, while GIC had in the meantime commissioned raw materials through the “Gjirafa”, but it had to wait a couple of days, so “Foremon” intervened there. Similarly, I would like to point out that Young Active Gracanica came up with the idea of using bicycles, which is otherwise used for its tourism project, to help buyers and suppliers minimize contact and to help distribute food to members of the Gracanica community. I wanted to mention that because it’s not just the international community, and that such actions are heartwarming and encouraging when we hear about community initiatives, because you know, we’re all in this together.

Will your organization help businessmen who will suffer damage during this crisis?

-These talks are already underway, not only with USAID, but also with the EU and others in the donor community, as the economic impact on SMEs as a result of the coronavirus is already anticipated. They are targeted by the current impact of the virus because many businesses are closed, and the workers lost their jobs. While we are working on an immediate health response to coronavirus, the socio-economic impact of coronavirus will definitely be a challenge.

WHO warns against easing coronavirus measures ‘too early’ (B92. VoA)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged countries not to lift measures put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus too early

WHO demanded that the countries should not let go of the imposed measures too early, a WHO Spokesman said on Tuesday, “Voice of America” reports.

“One of the most important parts is not to let go of the measures too early in order not to have a fall back again,” WHO Spokesman Christian Lindmeier said in a virtual briefing on Tuesday.

“It’s similar to being sick yourself if you get out of bed too early and get running too early you risk falling back and having complications,” he added.

See at: https://bit.ly/3e3KG0p

Three more deaths in Serbia; “We will reach peak now, next 10 days are crucial”  (B92)

In the last 24 hours, three more coronavirus related deaths in Serbia, total number of casualties 61

The new victims are two men and one woman, epidemiologist Dr Darija Kisic Tepavcevic said.

“We must not give up now. We have to put all our efforts in this joint fight against the epidemic,” Dr Kisic Tepavcevic said. “In the last three days, we have reached peak of the infection, which will last another ten days”, epidemiologist Predrag Kon.

He pointed out that in the coming weeks the virus will be active and that contacts should be minimized. “Isolation is paramount, including all the measures we have put in place so far,” Kon said.

He added that 104 people were temporarily in the hospital at the Belgrade Fair, 64 in the “Cair” Sports Hall in Nis, and 38 in the Novi Sad Hospital.

“The information on the situation in hospitals is easily verifiable. Presently, it is unnecessary to waste our strength to prove that some information is incorrect,” Dr Kisic Tepavcevic explained.

“Journalists are the ones who do their jobs professionally and convey the news they get. Personally, I find that they do the best they know, as we do the best we know. How accurate the news are depends on the source of that information,” Dr Kon concluded.

See more at: https://bit.ly/3b4xeb3

Weekend coronavirus related curfew extended from Monday to Friday in Serbia (RTS, N1, Tanjug)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told public broadcaster RTS on Tuesday that the weekend curfew could be extended and start on Friday instead of Saturday as it was the case last week.

“Saturday morning costs us a lot… We will quite certainly impose that measure on Belgrade and Nis and we’ll see about the rest of Serbia,” Vucic said in a live appearance. He added the measures are being taken to prevent more deaths.

According to Vucic, Serbia faced a situation worse than in 95-96 percent of countries because it had a much greater percentage of people entering the country. The president claimed that 400,000 Serbian nationals had returned home from abroad. “You can’t blame anyone, Those people came to a better place but some knew they were carrying the infection with them,” he said.

Vucic has been criticized over the past two weeks for allegedly blaming the people who returned home from abroad for the deteriorating coronavirus pandemic situation. The authorities claim that up to 400,000 people entered the country.

Vucic said that Belgrade is the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic, adding that he can’t exclude the possibility of the Serbian capital being isolated. He said that the biggest problem in the city are the numbers of patients in its hospitals which, he said, are filled to capacity.

Meanwhile, Tanjug news agency reported today that a decision on curfew was made, it would start on Friday 17.00 and end on Monday 5 a.m. The decision applies to the entire Serbia. 

See at: https://bit.ly/2JNssTh

Djuric: Hospital in Mitrovica North to receive respirator and 1000 protective garments (KoSSev)

Serbian Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija Director Marko Djuric said the Clinical Hospital Center in Mitrovica North will receive a respirator and 1000 protective garments, KoSSev portal reported.

According to the data of the Serbian Institute for Public Health “Dr Milan Jovanovic Batut” there are 7 respirators in Mitrovica district, and one is also used in central Kosovo.

Djuric also announced the medical support for the health house in Leposavic, including medical devices, protective garments, gloves and masks. 

Lawyer: Health condition of Zlatan Krstic rapidly deteriorates (Kosovo-online)

The Special Department of the Basic Court in Pristina has rejected the request of defense lawyer that Zlatan Krstic be released to defend in freedom, because of medical treatment. Krstic is accused of committing a war crime against the civilian population in Kosovo.

His lawyer, Dejan A. Vasic told Kosovo-online portal that Krstic’s health condition has rapidly deteriorated.

“In the meantime his health condition has rapidly deteriorated. During our conversation yesterday he told me that the wound he has spread and he is unable to get out of bed. He needs urgently to be examined by an orthopedist that would assess the severity of his wounds and injuries, and to treat them in an adequate manner, most probably by surgery,” Vasic said.

Krstic was arrested in April last year and since then he is in detention.  

EU and Western Balkans leaders’ summit postponed over Covid-19 (RTS)

The summit of European Union and Western Balkans leaders that was supposed to take place on May 7 in Zagreb, Croatia has been postponed, RTS reports. The new date could be proposed in June, Croatian EU Presidency announced if the situation with Covid-19 allows it. If not, a video-conference will be organized.  

Croatia as the EU chair has decided to postpone all the meetings by May 15 “in order to limit the spread of coronavirus epidemic and mitigate its effects.” 

 

 

Opinion

 

Applauding Kurti’s Fall, the US is Testing Kosovo’s Loyalty (Balkan Insight)

Washington needs to stem the growth of anti-Western sentiment in Kosovo caused by its ongoing support for a corrupt political old guard and more or less open for the toppling of a popular leader.

Long before the now ousted Albin Kurti became Prime Minister of Kosovo, he had established a reputation as a left-wing nationalist who was willing to stand-up to the West.

He had founded the Vetevendosje [Self-Determination] Movement, to rid Kosovo of the United Nations and European Union administrative bodies, which he felt neglected Kosovo’s best interests.

See at: https://bit.ly/3bZgRw9

 

 

Humanitarian/Development

 

Kon: If we want to impose more drastic measures, we should do it now (B92)

Epidemiologist Predrag Kon said we are facing the peak of the epidemic now, and that he fears the sixth week, noting that “there is no more time to wait”, B92 reports.

“If we are going to introduce more drastic measures, now is the time to decide,” Kon told “Danas” daily.

Asked what his personal attitude was, as well as whether there was a need for more rigorous restrictions, Kon said that “in Belgrade, which is particularly vulnerable, it must in any way ensure that contacts between citizens are reduced to the minimum”.

However, he cannot say whether it also means a 24-hour curfew, pointing out once again that “there is no more time for negotiations and stories, because now lives are being saved.”

According to him, the health system has not been compromised so far, but the situation is extremely serious.

“For now, no hospitals are closed, which does not mean that we don’t have huge problems. It is clear that medical staff member who have been infected simply must not go to work, because we need to ensure that the infection does not spread in hospitals,” Kon said.

See at: https://bit.ly/3b5abNj

 

 

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