International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Dodik says he will choose Sputnik V once doctor recommends him to get vaccine

April 09, 2021

Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of Bosnia and Herzegovina's tripartite Presidency and its current Chairman, said he would choose Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus once his doctor recommends him to get vaccinated.

Dodik, who was hospitalised because of Covid-19 in late December 2020 and was receiving medical treatment for 16 days, said he still has antibodies from the infection with the coronavirus.

Speaking of the vaccination process in Republika Srpska (RS), Bosnia's Serb-majority region where Dodik was elected for the Presidency, he said another shipment of the Russia-made vaccine should arrive there these days.

“Republika Srpska did everything to make a reservation for and reach a framework agreement with Russian producers for 1.1 million vaccines,” he told public broadcaster RTRS.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/dodik-says-he-will-choose-sputnik-v-once-doctor-recommends-him-to-get-vaccine/

Croatia: Border police discover 15 foreigners, two provided with first aid

April 09, 2021

Croatian border police discovered 15 foreign nationals in the Glina area on Friday morning and administered first aid to two of them who were injured.

The group, including six men, five women and four children, were discovered around 6.30 am. Two men and a pregnant woman complained of pain, and the two men were found to have suffered stab wounds, the Sisak-Moslavina County Police said.

The police officers on the scene provided them with first aid before an ambulance came and took them to the Sisak General Hospital for further treatment.

The men told the police that a group of Pakistanis had attacked them in the woods and stolen their mobile phones and other personal effects.

The police said they were investigating the case.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/croatia-border-police-discover-15-foreigners-two-provided-with-first-aid/

EU donates protective equipment to Serbia worth € 857,000

April 09, 2021

The European Union donated protective masks and gloves worth 857,000 euros to Serbia under a special instrument for emergencies (rescEU), the EU Info Center said on Friday.

The donation includes 310,000 FFP2 masks, 730,000 surgical masks and 730,000 pairs of protective gloves that were delivered to the Interior Ministry warehouse.

The equipment arrived from stocks in Belgium and Romania, is part of an EU donation to Serbia through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

Serbia is the largest user of the rescEU instrument in Europe during the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

So far, the country has received personal protective equipment worth 6.8 million Euro.

The EU has helped Serbia fight coronavirus through various donations, funding the hiring of medical workers, transporting hundreds of tons of medical supplies, donating millions of personal protective equipment, buying ambulances, and decontaminating.

„Let’s never forget one thing. It’s a relief that we feel when our loved ones and we are protected from health risks. I am proud of this consistent expression of solidarity, not only because the EU is generally the largest donor to Serbia, but also because it remains the largest donor when it is most needed and supported Serbia’s health system long before this pandemic broke out,“ Mateja Norcic Stamar, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, said.

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism facilitates cooperation in emergency response, preparation and prevention between member states, as well as several other European countries.

Serbia became a member of the Mechanism in 2015. Still, even before that, during the devastating floods in May 2014, it felt the benefits of European solidarity through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The operation was one of the largest since the Mechanism was established, the statement said.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/eu-donates-protective-equipment-to-serbia-worth-e-857000/

UM launches new Nova daily in Serbia

April 09, 2021

United Media (UM) has said on Friday it launches a new daily Nova in Serbia with a responsible editorial concept and true and checked information as an alternative to the current situation with print media in the country.

„We believe that Serbia’s readers need a reliable daily since the market is burdened with tabloids often abused in politics. Nova will be objective but uncompromised in reporting on all important issues in the country,“ UM said in the statement.

The daily will be available on stands six days a week on 24 pages, from Monday to Saturday, when it will be published as a weekend edition on 32 pages.

„United Media is a proud owner of the Danas daily, recognizable by its professional and independent journalism, and we believe Nova will have the same important role in the public and cultural life in Serbia,“ the statement said.

As a leading media company in South-Eastern Europe, with 45 TV channels, 15 websites, magazines and radio stations, United Media continues to produce the best possible media content for over 20 markets.

In Serbia,  N1 Tv and website, Nova S and nova.rs website, Sport Klub, Brainz science channel, children’s TVs Pikaboo and Vavoom, Grand Production, IDJ music channel, Cinemania, Hunting and Fishing channel operate as the part of United Media.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/um-launches-new-nova-daily-in-serbia/

EU calls on Pristina to focus on dialogue with Belgrade

April 09, 2021

The European Union expects Kosovo to focus on the dialogue on the normalization of relations with Belgrade after the new institutions are formed, EU's spokesperson Peter Stano has said on Friday.

In a statement to Pristina Koha daily, Stano said that the head of the EU foreign policy, Josep Borrell, expected meetings with President Vjosa Osmani Prime Minister Albin Kurti soon.

„Kosovo can now resolutely focus on important issues, including advancing EU-related reforms and EU-led dialogue,“ he said.

Stano did not mention the possible date for the next high-level meeting in Brussels but said that it would be held when appropriate.

Both Osmani and Kurti have recently said the dialogue with Belgrade was not the priority of Pristina’s new authorities.

They said the dialogue was necessary but under certain conditions.

Among other issues, Pristina is unhappy about the EU reluctance to grant Kosovo’s citizens a free visa regime, and Belgrade’s firm stand not to recognize its independence.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/eu-calls-on-pristina-to-focus-on-dialogue-with-belgrade/

Rio Tinto rebuffs Serbia’s environmental group’s accusations of river pollution

April 09, 2021

The claims about Jadar, Drina and even Sava river's possible pollution are untrue, the Rio Tinto company has said on Friday, following environmental protests against jadarite excavation.

„We are aware of the current events in Belgrade and fully understand the concerns of citizens about the environment because we, employees and our families and children, breathe the same air and live on the same land as our fellow citizens who are protesting today,“ Rio Tinto, an Anglo – Australian multinational company and the world’s second-largest metals and mining corporation, producing iron ore, copper, diamonds, gold and uranium, said in a statement.

It added a part of the concern is based on the lack of information about the project.

„This is understandable since the project is in the phase of drafting a Feasibility Study and the Environmental Impact Assessment Studies, which will provide detailed answers to the citizens’ questions,“ the company said.

It added the studies would be subjected to the public debate, warning about what they said were „many untruths in public about the project.“

„One of the claims is that the rivers Jadar, Drina and the even Sava will be polluted, which is an absolute untruth. The company will invest between 30 and 40 million Euro in the wastewater treatment plant alone. We plan to focus on environmental protection with over 100 million Dollars. Still, we can expect that after the completion of preliminary and main projects, more will be needed,“ Rio Tinto said.

According to the statement, regardless of the support of state institutions the ‘Jadar’ project has, the company „understands and respects the fact that the local community will raise issues related to the project of this size and importance.“

„The basic precondition for the development of the project is a partnership with local communities. For that reason, we are committed to close cooperation with each other, to answer all questions within the preparation of the Study on Environmental Impact Assessment,“ the company said.

It added that „we all need to recognise and accept our role in tackling climate change and the global green transition. We believe that lithium has a vital role to play for a low-carbon future. Lithium is also an important resource for many new technologies that will enable Serbia, Europe and the world to transition to a greener and digital future.“

The statement hasn’t referred to one of the local population’s main complaints about „1,500 hectares being directly endangered by the project and 22 villages with 19,500 people that may be affected“ by Rio Tinto mining.

The people from those villages, supported by several environmental organizations, protested in Belgrade outside the company’s headquarters on Friday, showing Rio Tinto a red card and telling them, „go away. We don’t need your Euro.“

Biljana Stojkovic, the Belgrade University Biological Faculty professor, told the rally that there were three responsibilities in the issue – Rio Tinto’s that were not seen anywhere they were, adding they left behind polluted land, water and air. The other responsibility lies with the state, but it does not show it either because it only cares about profit and personal privileges, Stojkovic has said.

According to her, the third responsibility lies with the citizens. She asked if Serbia’s people were „worse than the Germans, the French and others who did not allow Rio Tinto to come to their countries? Is everything okay with us if we allow this?“

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/rio-tinto-rebuffs-serbias-environmental-groups-accusations-of-river-pollution/

Coronavirus: Croatia reports 2,599 new cases, 50 deaths

April 09, 2021

Over the past 24 hours, Croatia has registered 50 Covid-19-related fatalities and 2,599 new cases of coronavirus infection, after 8,994 samples were tested, the national Covid-19 crisis management team said on Friday.

The number of active cases in Croatia today stands at 13,200. There are 1,768 Covid-19 patients in hospitals, 175 of whom are on ventilators.

Since 25 February 2020, when Croatia registered its first case of the infection, a total of 288,364 people have contracted coronavirus and 6,235 of them have died.

A total of 268,929 people have recovered, including 2,116 in the last 24 hours.

There are currently 26,425 people in self-isolation.

To date, 1,619,663 people have been tested, 8,994 of whom have been tested over the past 24 hours.

As of 8 April, 543,436 doses of vaccine have been used, and 440,890 people have been vaccinated. Of them, 336,693 people have received the first dose, and 102,546 have received both doses. For 1,651 people there is no data on which dose they have received.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-croatia-reports-2599-new-cases-50-deaths/

Another 1,096 coronavirus infections, 82 COVID-19 deaths in Bosnia

April 09, 2021

Healthcare institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina reported on Friday that another 1,096 people tested positive for the coronavirus and 82 COVID-19 patients passed away throughout the past 24 hours.

In Bosnia’s Federation (FBiH) entity, 561 out of 4,504 people tested since Thursday were positive for the virus and 46 died due to the disease.

In the other semi-autonomous entity, Republika Srpska (RS), 1,041 people were tested and coronavirus infections were confirmed for 353 of them, while 34 died due to COVID-19.

Bosnia’s Brcko District reported 92 new infections and two COVID-19 deaths.

A total of 181,927 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in BiH since the beginning of the pandemic and 139,413 of them have recovered so far.

The COVID-19 death toll is 7,298.

There are currently 35,210 active coronavirus cases in the country.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/another-1096-coronavirus-infections-82-covid-19-deaths-in-bosnia/

Coronavirus UPDATE: 39 deaths, 3,405 newly infected in Serbia

April 09, 2021

Over the last 24 hours, 39 patients died from COVID-19-related complications and out of 15,532 tested people, 3,405 were infected with the coronavirus, Serbia's Health Ministry said on Friday.

To date, COVID-19 claimed a total of 5,659 lives with a mortality rate of 0.89 percent.

On Friday, 7,917 patients were hospitalized, of whom 264 on ventilators.

Since the epidemic outbreak in March 2020, 3,563,364 people have been tested, and 636,418 samples have returned positive for the new virus.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-update-39-deaths-3405-newly-infected-in-serbia/

Coronavirus on April 9: Montenegro

April 09, 2021

Over the last 24 hours, nine patients died from COVID-19-related complications, while 237 people were infected with the coronavirus in Montenegro, Public Health Institute said on Friday.

The death toll stood at 1,354.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-pandemic-daily-regional-update-on-april-9-2021/

Coronavirus on April 9: Kosovo

April 09, 2021

In the last 24 hours, seven patients died from COVID-19-related complications, while out of 4,487 tested people, 684 were infected with the coronavirus in Kosovo, Public Health Institute said on Friday.

The death toll stood at 1,967, while since the epidemic outbreak, 80,834 patients have recovered.
At the same time, 466,653 people have been tested, and 96,896 have been tested positive for the virus.

On Friday, there were 14,095 active cases of the infection.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-pandemic-daily-regional-update-on-april-9-2021/

Coronavirus on April 9: North Macedonia

April 09, 2021

Over the last 24 hours, 42 patients died from COVID-19-related complications, while out of 4,598 tested people, 1,174 were infected with the coronavirus in North Macedonia, the country’s Health Ministry said on Friday.

The death toll stood at 4,150, while 113,430 patients have recovered since the epidemic outbreak.

At the same time, 140,065 people have tested positive for the virus, and on Friday, there were 22,485 active cases of the infection.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-pandemic-daily-regional-update-on-april-9-2021/

Sarajevo Canton receives Serbia's donation of 10,000 AstraZeneca vaccines

April 09, 2021

A donation of 10,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines that Serbia sent to Sarajevo Canton (SC) was handed over on Friday at the Sarajevo International Airport in presence of Serbian and SC officials.

Serbia responded to the request of the Sarajevo Canton Government, which asked for the purchase of vaccines but due to procedural obstacles, Serbia decided to make a donation.

“They told us they could not provide us with the vaccines commercially so they decided to make a donation. We are grateful but the SC Government will give something in return and make an offer for their citizens, it will probably be an option for the citizens of Serbia to come to the Sarajevo Canton and stay in hotels using vouchers of the SC Government. We want to pay for it because we have money available,” said SC Prime Minister Edin Forto, adding that the cantonal authorities established contact with several countries asking for the purchase of vaccines. 

Everything is ready for mass immunization of citizens in SC, which will take place at the Zetra Olympic Hall, Health Minister Haris Vranic confirmed.

“Once we get the approval to use the vaccines, the citizens will be invited through (online) application for the vaccination. No one will be left out but I must say these are limited quantities,” he said.

Addressing media at the airport, Serbia's Health Minister Zlatibor Loncar said the authorities in his country are aware that the “virus knows no borders and does not care about barriers to reach every corner of the planet.”

“We cannot be happy if we vaccinate within one border. I hope we will be more united in the future and that we will learn a lesson that no one alone can solve this problem, but if we are solving it together in our neighborhood it will be solved sooner,” he said.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/sarajevo-canton-receives-serbias-donation-of-10000-astrazeneca-vaccines/

Mass vaccination of those over the age of 65 begins in Banja Luka

April 09, 2021

The mass vaccination of the population over 65 years of age has started in Banja Luka, the administrative centre of Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity, on Friday.

Those within that age group now have the opportunity to get vaccinated at the Banja Luka Fair without registering for the procedure beforehand.

According to a member of the Banja Luka Health Centre vaccination team, Dr. Mladen Sukalo, a lot of people have shown interest in getting vaccinated, which indicates that citizens have recognized the importance of the process for preventing infections and the spread of the virus.

He stressed that no side effects were reported by those who received any of the COVID-19 vaccines that were used in Republika Srpska so far.

Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/mass-vaccination-of-those-over-the-age-of-65-begins-in-banja-luka/

Serbia further relaxes anti-epidemic measures, opens shopping malls on Monday

April 09, 2021

Despite dozens of deaths and thousands of newly infected daily, Serbia's political-expert Crisis Team for curbing the coronavirus epidemic decided on Friday to allow the opening of shopping malls and let pupils back to schools on April 19 – all that if the situation didn't get worse.

The cafes and restaurants inside shopping malls remain closed.

Branislav Tiodorovic, an epidemiologist and a member of the Crisis Team, said that „the situation is still in a state of emergency, with a slight tendency to reduce the number of newly confirmed cases. The number of discharged patients is on the rise, as is the number of first check-ups.“

However, he added, „COVID hospitals are still full.“

Last Monday, Serbia relaxed some measures and allowed outdoor cafes and restaurants to open half of their capacity, and the working hours were extended from 8 to 10 pm.

Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/serbia-further-relaxes-anti-pandemic-measures-opens-shopping-malls-on-monday/

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