96 percent of Montenegro’s citizens support Government’s COVID-19 measures

Almost all Montenegrin citizens, i.e. 96 percent of them, support the measures imposed by the National Coordination Body of the Government of Montenegro because of the danger of coronavirus spreading.

Jelena Perovic
Ipsos 20 mart eng
UNICEF Crna Gora
26 March 2020

PODGORICA, 20 MARCH 2020 – Almost all Montenegrin citizens, i.e. 96 percent of them, support the measures imposed by the National Coordination Body of the Government of Montenegro because of the danger of coronavirus spreading. Eighty-six percent of citizens say they are adhering to said measures, although almost one-third (31%) admit they are finding it a challenge. This is the data from this week’s public opinion survey commissioned by the Ministry of Health, the Institute for Public Health and UNICEF Montenegro, and conducted by Ipsos.

“All the orders issued by the Ministry of Health and the National Coordination Body for Communicable Diseases are the result of the responsible action of the Government of Montenegro to counteract the further spread and mitigate the effects of coronaviruses in our country. All the measures taken by the state can be effective only if all of us show the maximum degree of both personal and collective responsibility,” said the Minister of Health, Kenan Hrapovic.

Citizens have the utmost confidence in the accuracy of information about coronavirus coming from the Institute of Public Health, the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization. In contrast, they have least confidence in information coming from social networks.

“We are pleased with the fact that citizens trust the Institute of Public Health most when it comes to information about coronavirus. I urge them to continue to seek all information on this subject on our website and social networks. In crises like this, it is crucial to be well informed and to follow the instructions of experts, in this particular case, the instructions of medical doctors. I thank all the citizens for their cooperation, and once again I urge every individual to respect the measures of social isolation, because only in this way can we slow down the spread of the infection and ensure that every infected person receives timely and adequate assistance,” said Senad Begic, an epidemiologist and Deputy Director of the Institute of Public Health.

Compared to recent research on this topic conducted by Ipsos last week, there has been a significant increase in the number of citizens who are aware of the coronavirus and who perceive it to be something to worry about.

“Last week, 79 percent of citizens reported being informed, while this figure presently stands at 98 percent. Last week, one in two citizens were worried about the possibility of them or their loved ones contracting coronavirus, while today, 81 percent of citizens expressed their concerns regarding potential contraction. What seems to be positive is that we can see that citizens feel they are well informed and they are keeping themselves informed about the situation and, generally speaking, they are adhering to the recommended prevention measures. However, it is worrying that 31% of citizens claim that people from their immediate surroundings are only partially adhering to these measures,” said Vladimir Raicevic, Director of Ipsos for Montenegro.

Recent data indicates a massive change in behaviour, showing that the aforementioned measures are being respected and that the messages from the competent institutions are getting through to citizens. The data shows that 99 percent of citizens are now washing their hands more frequently, 90 percent are avoiding home visits, 87 percent are using disinfectants more often, 86 percent are avoiding shaking hands, while 82 percent are keeping a one-to-three-metre distance when talking to someone, and as many have reduced walking and are staying outdoors. Sixty-nine percent of citizens are avoiding visiting stores, pharmacies and places where people gather, while 60 percent are avoiding contact with loved ones. One in two citizens is not going to work, which means that it is necessary to determine whether the recommended measures of social isolation and working from home can be better adhered to.

Fever and cough remain the two symptoms of the coronavirus that citizens have heard about the most. At the same time, the majority of citizens know that they should not go to primary healthcare centres in the event of feeling the symptoms of coronavirus and that they should call the number provided by the Institute of Public Health and the Ministry of Health. A free SOS line 1616 was activated earlier today by the Institute of Public Health. Citizens who suspect they have been exposed to the virus or have symptoms can be assisted through it every day from 8 am to 11 pm.

Almost every second citizen (45%) expects that the new situation will last up to two months, while one in five thinks that it will last longer – i.e. two to three months. Most citizens did not notice a shortage of groceries during their last visit to a store.

IPSOS survey cover image
UNICEF Crna Gora