The Federation (FBiH) is in a state of emergency and is seeing the third pandemic wave, prime minister of Bosnia's semi-autonomous entity Fadil Novalic told media following an urgent meeting with cantonal authorities on the situation concerning surge in new coronavirus cases in this region.
“We talked about what to do next in terms of this situation, with the focus on two groups of problems – epidemiological measures and vaccines,” Novalic told media, noting that authorities at all levels in this part of the country are actively cooperating in the fight against coronavirus.
But, Edin Forto, the prime minister of Sarajevo Canton, one of ten cantons in the FBiH, voiced deep dissatisfaction with the meeting results.
He was the first to leave the meeting, saying that he was ashamed of what he heard there, particularly in terms of the vaccine procurement.
“In March 2021, they are talking about forming a body for purchase of vaccines. I could not believe what I heard. The way in which this was presented to us, I couldn't believe it and that's why I left the meeting earlier because it was basically pointless,” Forto said in a video message he published after the talks.
The FBiH PM responded by saying that the deteriorating epidemiological situation in Sarajevo Canton was a result of poor restrictions in this canton which has 470 infected patients per 100,000 people, while in other cantons these figures were significantly lower.
“Maybe the frustration was caused by the lack of vaccines. But, you know that the state, and not entities or cantons, are in charge of vaccines. Pfizer won't speak to Bavaria in Germany but to the German state authorities,” explained Novalic.
However, Sarajevo Canton PM said his government was ready to assist the FBiH authorities in the vaccine procurement process.
“We will do our best to get the vaccines for the FBiH citizens and start the process that is already ongoing in other countries,” he stressed.
Health experts who attended the meeting warned that the situation in the capital was alarming.
“You should know what to do next about the cries for help from the Sarajevo University Clinical Centre and the General Hospital, which are filled to capacity and where patients are hospitalised in hallways, while new patients keep coming,” warned Mirsad Kacila, the Chairman of the Health Committee in the FBiH Parliament.
“Some countries in the world with much less infected patients had far more drastic measures than we had,” he said, asking for drastic warning towards citizens, in accordance with the situation.