Three FBiH cantons, Brcko District shut down schools due to COVID-19

Dusko Jaramaz/PIXSELL

Sarajevo, Tuzla and Zenica-Doboj cantons, as well as Bosnia's Brcko District, decided to shut down schools and kindergartens as recommended by the Federation (FBiH) entity's Crisis Staff, With Zenica-Doboj canton going a step further – closing the University of Zenica, as well.

Tuzla Mayor Jasmin Imamovic said that considering the seriousness of the situation regarding the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the fact that the authorities banned all public gatherings in the canton, any gathering of large crowds would directly threaten the health of people and would only aid the spread of the epidemic.

Zenica-Doboj Canton's Crisis Staff decided to shut down all schools in the canton and the University of Zenica until further notice, head of the Crisis Staff and cantonal Health Minister Adnan Jupic told Fena news agency.

“We're aware of the FBiH Crisis Staff's decision which only confirms that we were right to do what we did. There are no medical indications for such a decision, but we made it anyway so that we could calm the public. We didn't want to limit our decision to just 15 days because we don't believe the situation would change in just 15 days. That's why we decided to shut down schools until further notice,” Jupic said.

According to the latest estimates, over 119,000 people are infected with the virus worldwide. Some 4,300 people died because of it and 66,500 people are recovering from COVID-19.

In line with the FBiH Crisis Staff decision, Sarajevo Canton's authorities decided to shut down schools and postpone all cultural and sports events for the next 15 days.

Sarajevo Canton's Crisis Staff added that all departures of cantonal healthcare workers to scientific meetings and tourist destinations are also postponed.

Brcko District government decided on Wednesday to declare a state of epidemic in the District and to shut down elementary and high schools as of March 12. This decision will be in force for the duration of the coronavirus epidemic, said Brcko Vice Mayor Anto Domic.

This is a developing story.