Kasler discusses pandemic defence with Montenegrin health-care minister

Hungarian coronavirus aid to Montenegro has returned dividends as Hungary has learned from Montenegro's experiences in fighting Covid, Human Resources Minister Miklos Kasler said after talks with Montenegrin Health Minister Jelena Borovinic-Bojovic on Thursday.

Kasler told a joint press briefing that Hungary and Montenegro had assessed the pandemic situation in a similar way, had taken similar steps and had experienced a similar course of the pandemic.

Kasler and Borovinic-Bojovic agreed that mass inoculation was the only solution to ending the pandemic.

At the talks, the ministers discussed possible pandemic developments such as the emergence of new variants and changes to people’s immunity levels, they said.

They agreed travel between their countries may be possible by the summer, Kasler said, adding he will pass the proposal on to the operative board handling the pandemic response in Hungary.

As part of the Orban government’s Balkan policy, Hungary and Montenegro launched a number of promising programmes in 2018, in culture, education, sports and health care, Kasler said. Montenegro also joined the Central European Academy of Oncology founded by Hungary, he added. Although those schemes have had to be suspended due to the pandemic, bilateral cooperation is still up and running, he said.

The ministers picked up the thread at today’s meeting and intend to restart cooperation, in health care first of all, he said.

Borovinic-Bojovic called the talks “successful” and thanked Hungary for earlier shipments of PCR tests, ventilators and other equipment. She said they discussed pandemic protection measures and clinical experiences, among other matters.

Borovinic-Bojovic said both countries were ready to expand mutual cooperation, but they had to prioritise the fight against the pandemic at this point.

She also asked the Hungarian government to consider processing PCR tests taken in Montenegro.

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