Montenegro reports first new coronavirus case since May 5

FILE PHOTO: Women wearing masks walk on a street after Prime Minister Dusko Markovic declared the country the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-free in Podgorica, Montenegro, May 25, 2020. REUTERS/Stevo Vasiljevic

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Three weeks after declaring it was free of the coronavirus, Montenegro has reported a new COVID-19 case -- a person who arrived from neighbouring Bosnia.

It was the first new infection reported in the tiny Balkan country since May 5.

The Institute for Public Health, which is tasked with combating the new coronavirus, said the infected patient was in self-isolation in the Balkan country’s capital, Podgorica.

“An epidemiological investigation is under way and initial information suggests that the number of contacts (the patient had in Montenegro) was limited,” it said.

Montenegro, a former Yugoslav republic of 620,000 people whose economy relies heavily on tourism revenues, has so far reported 325 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus and nine deaths.

Prime Minister Dusko Markovic declared Montenegro coronavirus-free on May 25.

His declaration followed measures taken in early March to curb the spread of the virus, including the closure of borders, airports and seaports, and a ban on public gatherings and outdoor activities. The restrictions have been gradually eased.

Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Timothy Heritage