Countries in the region impose stricter border measures to contain outbreak

Countries in the region impose stricter border measures to contain outbreak

Countries in the region impose stricter border measures to contain outbreak Izvor: JOE RAEDLE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Bosnia and Herzegovina on Sunday expanded the list of countries whose nationals are banned from entering the country while Slovenia announced it would suspend all air traffic as of Tuesday in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

After announcing on Sunday that foreign nationals from Italy, South Korea, China, France, Germany, and Spain will be banned from entering the country, Bosnia on Monday added Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, and Romania to the list.

The Federation entity also decided on Monday to restrict the movement of migrants in the westernmost region of the entity, the Una-Sana Canton.

So far, 24 cases of the COVID-19 disease were discovered in Bosnia.

Cases surge in Slovenia

According to Sunday figures, 219 cases of the coronavirus were registered in Slovenia, up from 181 on Saturday. The country also registered the first death from the disease, of an elderly man who had underlying health issues. Three people were hospitalised in the capital of Ljubljana in critical condition.

Schools were closed across the country, and all public transportation has been shut down. All bus and train traffic with Italy has been banned, with health checks introduced on the border.

As of Tuesday, all air traffic will also be suspended, Slovenian government’s crisis management team spokesman, Jelko Kacin, told the press on Sunday.

Serbia declares state of emergency, military to be engaged to provide support

All schools and universities in Serbia were closed on Monday until further notice, and people over the age of 65 were banned from leaving their homes.

So far, 55 people in Serbia have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

All borders have been closed for foreign nationals, with the exception of diplomats accredited to Serbia and foreigners with residence permits.

Upon returning to the country, Serbian citizens, diplomats and residents will have to stay in 14-day self-isolation, while those returning from Switzerland, Iran, Romania, Spain, Germany, France, Austria, Slovenia, and Greece will have to remain in self-isolation for 28 days, the government said on Monday.

The military will be deployed at border crossings and guard the hospitals, as well as all public spaces where large groups of people are expected to converge, such as bus or railway stations, airports, or post offices.

Kosovo, where nine cases of the coronavirus have been discovered so far, has also declared a state of emergency on Monday, calling on the public to stay at home and follow instructions from the country’s Health Ministry.

Montenegro to close borders for foreigners

The authorities in Montenegro, which has not yet confirmed any cases of the coronavirus infection, decided on Sunday to close the borders for foreign nationals, while Montenegrins coming back from abroad will be placed in self-isolation.

Italy reports new deaths

Italy, which remains the worst-affected country in Europe, reported that 368 people have died in the last 24 hours alone, bringing the total death toll since the beginning of the outbreak to 1,809.

Nearly 25,000 people have been infected in the country so far.

This story is developing and will be updated as new information becomes available.

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