Policy responses for Bosnia and Herzegovina - HSRM

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Policy responses for Bosnia and Herzegovina

1. Preventing transmission

The section on PREVENTING TRANSMISSION includes information on key public health measures that aim to prevent the further spread of the disease. It details how countries are advising the general public and people who (might) have the disease to prevent further spread, as well as measures in place to test and identify cases, trace contacts, and monitor the scale of the outbreak.

1.1 Health communication

Official advice on hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, physical distancing
Official advice on hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette was issued in both entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH), the Federation of BIH (FBIH) and the Republika Srpska (RS) (link FBIH: https://www.zzjzfbih.ba/covid-19/; link RS: https://www.phi.rs.ba/index.php?view=clanak&id=761) at the beginning of February. Official advice on physical distancing was issued at the end of February.

Communicating information
Information on outbreak severity and responses is conveyed by the media (TV, radio, and the internet). The Ministries of Health (MoHs) produce and deliver information at daily press releases scheduled initially at 12am, and later in the early mornings (RS) and late afternoons (FBIH).  In RS, press conferences were initially delivered by the Minister of Health himself, and later also by the officials from the public health institute of RS; in FBIH, by the members of the FBIH Crisis Management Team/Committee, composed of MoH officials and assistant ministers, and directors and epidemiology department representatives from the public health institute, and since 25 March, civil protection and police officials from FBIH Crisis Headquarters (HQ) . In addition, ad hoc afternoon press conferences are organised if there is an emergency update or new measures are being introduced.

Press conferences have also been organized by responsible authorities in charge of coordinating the response in state of emergency in BIH (Ministry of Security of BIH, legal base link: http://www.msb.gov.ba/onama/struktura/zastita_spasavanje/dokumenti/zakoni/default.aspx?id=6805&langTag=en-US), border police (Ministry of Security of BIH), and the introduction and enforcement of physical distancing measures (Ministries of Internal Affairs of FBIH and RS, civil protection authorities in FBIH and RS).

Both the Prime Ministers of RS and of FBIH were simultaneously reported to be SARS-CoV-2 positive on 15 July 2020. The Prime Minister of FBIH had COVID-19 disease requiring hospital treatment, while both were reported to have been cured and resumed their work responsibilities on 29 July.