The protests in Serbia entered for the 8th consecutive day against the government and the way it is handling the coronavirus pandemic.
Hundreds of people gathered at the in front of the central prison in Belgrade to protest against the arrests made during the protests on Monday. The clashes between citizens and police injured dozens.
The protests began on 7th July in Belgrade after President Aleksandar Vucic announced the return of weekend curfew among other measures to combat the pandemic.
Vucic later scraped the plan to impose the lockdown. Authorities instead banned gatherings of more than 10 people in Belgrade, the capital, and shortened the working hours of indoor businesses.
Many in Serbia accuse the increasingly authoritarian Vucic and his government of letting the virus crisis spin out of control in order to hold a parliamentary election on June 21 that tightened the ruling party’s grip on power.
Vucic has denied this, although authorities had relaxed the rules prior to the vote, allowing massive crowds at soccer games, tennis matches and nightclubs.
Vucic has blamed foreign citizens for the ongoing protests. While, many pro-government tabloids in Serbia have claimed Russian intelligence services behind the current unrest.
The Embassy of Ukraine in Serbia issued a statement after the Mayor of Voždovac, Aleksandar Savić mentioned Ukraine behind the current protests in Serbia.
“The Embassy of Ukraine in Serbia once again officially states that Ukraine does not interfere in the internal political situation in the Republic of Serbia in any way. At the same time, the embassy considers unacceptable attempts to interfere in Ukraine’s internal affairs, in particular, to share negative public assessments of the conscious European choice made by the Ukrainian people by any foreign officials – including the mayor of Voždovac,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the health system in Serbia has been overloaded by the rising number of patients with coronavirus disease, health minister Zlatibor Loncar said.
The capacities in all Covid-19 hospitals have been redistributed to make it possible for them to handle all newly infected patients in the next couple of days, Loncar added.
On Monday, Serbia reported 279 new infections and 12 new deaths related to the coronavirus. There were 4,294 active cases in the country, with 154 people put on ventilators.
The total number of infections has risen to 18,639, with the death toll increasing to 405. A total of 498,343 people have for Covid-19.