March 10, 2020 / 3:58 PM / 24 days ago

Bosnia's Serb region shuts schools, bans public gatherings over coronavirus

SARAJEVO, March 10 (Reuters) - Bosnia’s autonomous Serb region will shut all schools and universities and ban large public gatherings from Wednesday until March 30 to help stem the spread of coronavirus, its government announced on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Radovan Viskovic said Serb Republic would also ask the national government in Sarajevo to step up border controls and health checks of people arriving in Bosnia from countries most affected by the disease outbreak.

Security Minister Fahrudin Radoncic has said Bosnia is ready to close its borders to such travellers.

Authorities in the capital Sarajevo also banned public gatherings with more than 300 people until further notice.

Further, Bosnia’s Football Association has postponed ticket sales for the Euro 2020 qualifying playoff semi-final between Bosnia and Northern Ireland on March 26 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

So far, four people in the Serb Republic and one in the Bosniak-Croat Federation, Bosnia’s other autonomous region, have been diagnosed with coronavirus. Most of them recently travelled to Italy, Europe’s hardest-hit country. (Reporting by Maja Zuvela; editing by Daria Sito-Sucic and Mark Heinrich)

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