Is it necessary to introduce an obligatory Negative PCR Test to enter BiH?

The epidemiological situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is becoming worse. New strains are spreading fast, and their control is becoming increasingly difficult. Experts warn that if the flow to BiH is continued without entry control and an obligatory negative PCR test result, the consequences could be severe. There are initiatives, but the authorities do not take concrete actions.

There are many requests from different levels of government for the introduction of a mandatory negative PCR test result for all those who want to enter BiH, regardless of their citizenship.

“Of particular concern is the fact that in such a dramatic epidemiological situation, there is still no control of entry into BiH, despite constant requests to introduce the obligation of having a negative PCR test result, not older than 48 hours, before entering BiH,” told Edin Forto, Prime Minister of Canton Sarajevo (CS).

“The pressure on the Border Crossing (in Bosnian: GP) Gradiska has increased, and citizens from other cities where there are more restrictive measures when it comes to catering facilities, come to Banja Luka, which leads to worsening of the situation with the pandemic,” said Drasko Stanivukovic, Mayor of Banja Luka.

“The fifth proposal is an attempt or conclusion to introduce a mandatory PCR test when entering BiH, depending on how much competence the Federal Parliament or the Government currently have,” pointed out Mirsad Kacila, the president of the Health Committee of House of Representatives of FBiH parliament.

The conclusions of the Health Committee were adopted by the Federal Parliament at the last session. The emergency session, as requested by the ”Four”, should be held by the House of Representatives of the BiH Parliament.

Explanation of the request for convening an emergency session of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of BiH states:

“Given that the BiH Council of Ministers did not introduce these measures on its own initiative, nor did it do so by following public calls to introduce such measures, holding an emergency session with this agenda item is necessary for the House to order the Council of Ministers of BiH to introduce these measures.”

There is still no information on whether the session will be scheduled. The decision on the introduction of an obligatory PCR test will not be made by the BiH Council of Ministers without the opinion of experts.

“The position of the Council of Ministers is that all agreed positions of health workers in BiH will be taken into account and the necessary decisions will be made. Currently, there is no such request from health workers in BiH, ” stressed Zoran Tegeltija, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of BiH.

”The selective introduction of entry controls in a country, which has so far been implemented in most European countries, has not yielded results, ” said Branislav Zeljkovic from the Institute of Public Health of Republika Srpska (RS). If this measure were to be introduced, as Zeljkovic said, it is necessary to impose it on everyone.

“Regardless of whether it is a citizen of BiH or any other country, if he is controlled by the PCR method, the same reciprocal measure needs to exist in that country as well,” Zeljkovic stated.

Experts warn that the current flow towards BiH already has severe consequences for the state and its citizens. Such a measure should have been addressed before the epidemiological situation worsened.

“If we had restricted the entry into BiH at that time, the British strain would not have appeared, which occurs in more than 80 percent of infected, and now there is Czech strain as well. We can also expect South African strain or Brazilian strain to appear and further complicate the already difficult situation,” emphasized Ednan Drljevic, head of the Covid department of the General Hospital ‘Prim. dr. Abdulah Nakas’, BHRT writes.


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