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Balkan Developments

Two quakes rock Zagreb on Sunday morning

Photo: Violeta SimeonovaA powerful 5.3-magnitude earthquake shook Zagreb on Sunday morning, the biggest earthquake to have hit the country in 140 years. It was followed by a 5.1-magnituute aftershock. One person, aged 15, has been reported severely injured, dozens have sought medical help. Residential and other kinds of buildings have suffered heavy damage. The military came to the assistance of the civilian rescue teams.

Greece imposes total ban on public movement over coronavirus

Photo: BTAA total ban on all public movement is in place in Greece as of 23 March until 6 April. Members of the public who want to go out must show a completed and signed declaration stating a legitimate reason for this. People can only leave their homes to go to and from work, buy groceries, medicines, to go to a doctor, or persons in need of care, individual exercise, or to walk a pet. The only people exempted are army, police and medical staff and people employed in civil protection if required by the service.

Skopje cancels preparations for general election

Photo: BGNESAll actions connected with the parliamentary elections in North Macedonia, scheduled for 12 April, were cancelled by government decree on Sunday. The cabinet motivated its decision with the need to apply the measures for tackling coronavirus successfully. The election date will be set after the end of the state of emergency imposed over COVID-19. On the same day, the first coronavirus death was registered in North Macedonia – a 57-year old woman from the town of Kumanovo. Because of the curfew imposed to check the spread of coronavirus, the only people in the streets of Skopje on Sunday night and the small hours of Monday morning were members of police patrols and crews of journalists. Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski paid visits to several police stations to check whether the restrictions are being complied with.

First coronavirus death in Montenegro

Photo: PixabayOn Sunday the Institute for Public Health in Podgorica reported the first registered death of a patient infected with COVID-19, a 65-year old man with a chronic pulmonary disease. At the time the death was reported there were 22 COVID-19 cases in the country, 5,565 individuals were being monitored.

Serbia receives assistance from China to combat COVID-19

Photo: BTAChina has dispatched a team of experts in combatting COVID-19 to Serbia, as well as medical supplies, disinfectants, face masks and other kinds of personal protective equipment. The experts were met at the airport in Belgrade by President Aleksandar Vučić himself who thanked the Chinese side for the assistance.

Serbia must not forget that China has been our friend for centuries, President Vučić said.

Skopje sends army to help protect borders

Photo: BGNESAt an emergency meeting, the government of North Macedonia made the decision to send the army to help the police protect and control state borders. The military staff will help stop individuals attempting to cross the borders of the country illegally. The army will also take part in passenger control in the country’s interior, and in guarding strategic sites, the government announced.

Curfew imposed in migrant centres on Greek islands

Photo: BTAA curfew has been imposed in the refugee centres on the Greek islands as a measure in checking the spread of coronavirus. The people placed in the centres are forbidden to go outside from 7 PM until 7 AM on the following morning, during the day one person per family is allowed out. New refugees will not be admitted. There are over 42,000 migrants in the 5 refugee centres on the Greek islands. There is only one coronavirus case on the islands so far – a resident of the island of Lesbos.

Compiled by Stoimen Pavlov