Migrants in Bosnia ‘More Vulnerable to Infection’ Despite Lockdown

Republika Srpska had 29 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection by Thursday, and 23 of them are in Banja Luka.

The country has introduced emergency measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection. All restaurants and cafes are closed, and only grocery stores and pharmacies are still working.

People here are reminded daily to adhere to the recommended personal hygiene regime, to avoid public gatherings, and not to leave their homes without urgent need.

Feroz, who left his native Afghanistan three years ago, worries that this might complicate his journey to his preferred destination, Germany.

"There was a lot of sick in the tents in Tuzla, but I don't think it's a corona[virus]," he said.

Restrictions on movement imposed

Reception camp Bira near the town of Bihac. Photo: BIRN.

There are approximately 7,500 registered migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For at least 2,500 of them, there are no places in temporary reception centres set up by the authorities.

On Wednesday, the government of the Sarajevo Canton, which includes the Bosnian capital, the city of East Sarajevo and various nearby towns and villages, imposed restrictions on the movement of migrants and ordered them into temporary reception centres.

"As the existing capacities in temporary reception centres will not be sufficient to accommodate all the migrants located in and moving around the Sarajevo Canton, the government will without delay send the authorities an initiative to establish an additional temporary reception centre (facility, tent settlement, etc) in the canton," the Sarajevo Canton's government said in a press release.

Una-Sana Canton, in the west of the country near the border with Croatia, has...

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