Its first case was confirmed on 5 March 2020 in Banja Luka. The diagnosed was in Italy during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Later the same day, a second case who was the son of the first case. On 21 March, the first death in the country from coronavirus was announced in a hospital in Bihać. The patient was an elderly woman who had been hospitalized two days before.
Based on daily reports with confirmed cases by Institute for Public Health of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Public Health Institute of the Republic of Srpska and Department of Health of Brčko District.
On 5 March 2020, health officials from Republika Srpska confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in the country. Later the same day, the second case was confirmed. These cases were a father and son who were thought to have contracted the virus while visiting Italy.
On 16 March, the Republika Srpska Ministry of Health announced the first two recoveries, both from Banja Luka.
On 20 March, the first cases were confirmed in the capital, Sarajevo.
On 21 March, the first death in the country from coronavirus was announced in a hospital in Bihać. The patient was an elderly woman who had been hospitalized two days before.
On 23 March, the first cases in Brčko District were confirmed. The cases were two people who arrived to Brčko from the Caribbean via airports in France and Serbia.
Cluster related to "Igman Konjic" congress
A number of cases in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina are related to one congress held in Konjic on 11 March 2020, where company "Igman" from Konjic marked 70 years of company existence, and where around 200 people were present. Beside confirmed cases of people from Konjic, among those people there were confirmed cases of people from Visoko,Tešanj,Goražde,Novi Travnik and Sarajevo. This case got media attention after it revealed that one person from Serbia was present at this event, and after he got back to Serbia he was confirmed positive for coronavirus. Since this confirmation on 16 March, all participants have had to go into obilatory self-isolation, and among people present on this event there were Bosnian singer Berin Buturović who was positive for coronavirus, as well as Bosnian politician Fadil Novalić who received a negative result. On 24 March, the first death from this cluster was reported, who was a driver of the director of this company.
The following depicts the growth of the coronavirus cases in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 5 March 2020 to 3 April 2020.
Source: Daily reports of Institute for Public Health of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Institute for Public Health of Republika Srpska. and Department of Health of Brčko District.
The Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina announced Armed Forces' placement of quarantine tents at the country's borders intended for Bosnian citizens returning home. Every Bosnian citizen arriving to the country is obligated to self-quarantine for 14 days starting from the day of arrival. Tents will be set up on the northern border with Croatia.
On 15 March 2020, Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina issued a decision which forbids for foreign nationals entering Bosnia and Herzegovina to enter from areas with intensive transmission of virus coronas, and especially from: Provinces of the PRC (Wuhan), South Korea, Japan, Italy, Iran, France, Romania, Germany, Austria, Spain, Switzerland and Belgium.
On 24 March 2020, Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina issued a decision which bans entrance for all foreigners, and also from 30 March 2020 all borders at airports in Bosnia and Herzegovina will be closed for passengers, and airplanes could land only to deliver cargo.
Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Triage tent located in Sarajevo during coronavirus pandemic.
On 11 March, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, had enacted a 2-week shutdown of all schools, high schools and universities in order to contain the spread of the virus, which was later prolonged by all cantons.
On 16 March, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina already had acts of profiteering. Fines have already been passed to local pharmacies and stores who used this situation and high demand for anti-bacterial gels/sprays and surgical masks. They lifted the prices as much as 3 times of the usual price. Federal inspection has given out fines in the sum of 43.500 km (~22.000 Euros).
The Headquarters of Federation of B&H issued on 18 March an order that banned all public gatherings, suspending the operation of all catering facilities for the preparation and sale of food and beverages, restaurants, pizzerias, confectioneries, beauty salons, hookah bars, coffee bars, discos, tea shops, cafes, private dentists.
The civil protection service of Federation of B&H on 20 March 2020 issued an order, which banned the movement of people under the age of 18 and over 65 in the Federation of BiH.
On 21 March 2020, a curfew was introduced for the entire Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina every day from 18:00 until 05:00, and its implementation started on 22 March 2020. On 29 March 2020, time for curfew was changed to 20:00 until 05:00.
Republika Srpska was first to implement measures, beginning from cities of Banja Luka and Doboj, where business hours were either limited or all business completely forbidden. The Ministry of Health and Social Security ordered the disinfection of all public spaces and property. Student dormitories in the city of Banja Luka were evacuated for immediate disinfection.
On 10 March 2020, Republika Srpska had officially enacted a ban on all public gatherings, shut down all schools, and banned entry to all tourists coming from any of the COVID-19 infected countries across the world in order to contain the spread of the virus within the country.
Between 12 and 13 March, numerous cities have made decisions to limit the work of grocery stores, restaurants, cafés and completely limit the work of gyms and fitness centers. Banja Luka,Čelinac, Prnjavor,Mrkonjić Grad and Doboj are some of the cities that made these restrictions.
On 15 March, Banja Luka has decided to close all restaurants and cafés in the city, with the exception of drugstores, hotels and motels, where drugstores will be working until 22h and hotels will be working until 18h.
The Minister of Health and Social Security, Alen Šeranić, reported that 2026 people are under surveillance in Republika Srpska. Šeranić also noted that only citizens arriving from abroad would be allowed the virus testing, and quarantine will be made mandatory.
On 21 March 2020, curfew was introduced in entire Republika Srpska every day from 20:00 until 05:00, and total ban of movement for people older that 65.
On 28 March 2020 the National Assembly declared the state of emergency in Republika Srpska, which came into force on 3 April 2020.
The Government of Brčko District is regularly adopting measures for control and prevention of coronavirus pandemic and publish them on their official website.
Since 22 March 2020, it is prohibited in Brčko District to gather and move in public places and open or closed public areas in a group of three or more persons throughout the day, and curfew was introduced in entire Brčko District every day from 21:00 until 05:00.
Empty shelves for flour in one store in Sarajevo as a result of panic buying.
Members of the Board of the Tourism and Hospitality Group of the Foreign Trade Chamber of Bosnia and Herzegovina have warned that the situation in tourism as a sector sensitive to global disruptions and the emergence of a new coronavirus strain could lead to the collapse of all entities operating in the tourism and hospitality sector.
From 21 March, most of the sports activities were canceled across the entire country, including all football matches in all categories.
EU - The EU is considering two ways to assist Bosnia and Herzegovina, including quick support in provision of up to EUR 7 million worth of medical equipment and mid-term adjustment and enforcement of EU support in the amount of up to EUR 50 million for the economic development programmes.
Serbia - Serbia is assisting Republika Srpska in medicines, protective equipment, and vital clinical machines, and also is assisting entire Bosnia and Herzegovina with food including wheat, corn and soybeans.
Switzerland - On 23 March 2020, Embassy of Switzerland in Bosnia and Herzegovina informed Minister of Security that Switzerland has allocate 200,000 USD for assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
USA - US Government on 23 March 2020 donated medical materials and other important supplies to the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina.USAID is donating $1.2 million to Bosnia and Herzegovina to help its laboratory systems, activate case-finding & monitoring, support experts, bolster awareness & community engagement and strengthen prevention.