Montenegrin health authorities (Ministry of Health, Institute of Public Health of Montenegro and Sanitary Inspection) are implementing enhanced health screenings on all international travelers coming from the People's Republic of China and other affected areas and territories where infectious disease – atypical pneumonia caused by a new coronavirus strain (2019-nCoV) has been registered.
Screenings are implemented to detect travelers with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing when entering Montenegro.
The screening procedures include:
- Travelers fill out or answer verbally a short questionnaire about their travel, any symptoms, and contact information.
- In some of the travelers medical staff at the point of entry may take the temperature (usually with a hand-held non-contact thermometer) and observe the traveler for cough or difficulty breathing. If sick travelers are identified, medical personnel evaluates them further to determine whether they should be taken to a hospital for medical evaluation and to get care as needed.
Upon the arrival in the country or at the point of entry, among other things, traveler shall be asked the following questions:
- Have you visited China in the last 14 days?
- In the last 14 days, have you been in contact with any person who has been confirmed with or likely to have a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection?
- In the last 14 days, have you been to any health care facility / hospital where people have been treated for new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection?
- During your stay abroad, have you visited any live animal markets during the last 14 days?
If the answer to any of these questions is "YES", and the traveler from affected area does not have symptoms, he/she shall be placed under the medical supervision during entire length of the stay in Montenegro or during the next 14 days – whatever ends first. (Although the incubation period of 2019-nCoV is currently understood to be 2–12 days, for precautionary and practical purposes, a follow-up period of 14 days (two weeks) is recommended)
- Medical supervision is a procedure prescribed by Article 33 of the Law on Protection of the Population from Infectious Diseases (Official Gazette of Montenegro 012/18)
- According to the Law, during the supervision, traveler with no signs and symptoms of the disease has no restriction in domestic travel or movement but MUST SELF MONITOR AND REPORT basic health parameters (body temperature and other signs and symptoms of respiratory infection) and symptoms of nCoV infection (fever of any grade, cough or difficulty breathing) to the competent health institution (Hygienic epidemiological Service or Public Health Institute of Montenegro) at the place of residence using appropriate means of communication and in dynamics described by the inspector or medical staff at the point of entry.
- In case that traveler develops any symptom during the supervision, person should immediately self-isolate and contact health services.
- If no symptoms appear within 14 days the person is no longer considered to be at risk of developing 2019-nCoV disease.
If a traveler placed under medical supervision fails to do the above mentioned, he / she shall be punished by a fine provided for by the stated Law on the Protection of the Population from Infectious Diseases.
Implementation of all above mentioned measures may be modified depending on the risk assessment for individual cases and their contacts by public health authorities.
This health assessment and request for persons to monitor their health is part of a layered approach to limiting the spread of disease. When used with other public health measures, enhanced entry screening can strengthen our efforts to protect Montenegro from 2019-nCoV and other communicable diseases.