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Serbian govt to revoke coronavirus information control decree

Serbian govt to revoke coronavirus information control decree

Serbia’s government will revoke a decree giving it control over information on the coronavirus outbreak. The decision follows protests and the detention of a journalist for reporting that a major hospital lacked protective gear and properly trained staff, Reuters reports.

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said the decree, which came into force on Saturday, would be revoked on Thursday “so not a shadow could be cast on our work.”

The emergency measure, which said information about the coronavirus outbreak could only come from Brnabic or those authorized by her, had drawn criticism from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and local media associations.

Many hospitals in Serbia lacked basic safety gear at the start of the outbreak. The government has since bought equipment and aid has arrived from China and the EU.