The number of infections in B&H is soaring, and we are opening borders?
THE MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR and Davor Bozinovic announced yesterday that the mandatory two-week self-isolation for those entering Croatia from Bosnia and Herzegovina will be lifted "today at the latest."
The announcement came just five days after the introduction of stricter measures for people from Serbia, Kosovo, and Macedonia.
Why is the self-isolation measure being lifted for those entering Croatia from Bosnia and Herzegovina?
Apart from the fact that the measure that is now being lifted was introduced only a few days ago, there are two other important aspects regarding the introduction and lifting of mandatory self-isolation upon entering Croatia from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The first one regards the number of infected people at the time when stricter measures were introduced, and the other one regards the number of infected people today when the measures are being lifted.
It would seem logical that stricter measures would be lifted only after the epidemiological situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina improves, as Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic previously announced. However, that is not the case here.
On the day the measure of mandatory self-isolation was introduced for people entering Croatia from Bosnia and Herzegovina, there were 84 newly infected people in that country. The day before the measure was introduced, there were 63 newly infected people, which was certainly taken into consideration before introducing the measure. Moreover, in the days leading up to the day of the introduction of this measure, the number of newly infected people in Bosnia and Herzegovina was not higher than 100.
What do the numbers look like now, when the mandatory self-isolation for people entering Croatia from Bosnia and Herzegovina is being lifted?
Yesterday, there were twice as many new coronavirus cases in Bosnia and Herzegovina than on the day when stricter measures for the borders were adopted
Yesterday, when Bozinovic announced that said measures would be lifted, there were 128 newly infected people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The day before, there were 107 new cases.
There were as many as 179 new cases on Saturday, and the number of newly infected people also amounted to well above 100 on Friday and Thursday.
When the two-week self-isolation measure was introduced for people entering Croatia from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, and Macedonia, the reasons were the poor epidemiological situation in those countries and the fact that most newly infected people in Croatia came from those countries.
"As for the measures, they are based on the opinion of medical professionals. These measures were introduced based on the recommendations of epidemiologists with regard to the situation in neighboring countries. We have an increase in the number of infected people, and most of them came from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. We will keep monitoring everything that is happening daily. We will make decisions faster and change them if necessary. Everyone is required to adhere to these measures. All persons who enter Croatia from these countries must go into self-isolation, regardless of their citizenship," Bozinovic said at the time.
However, as the borders with Bosnia and Herzegovina are reopening and the measures are being lifted, the epidemiological situation there is even worse, and the daily numbers of newly infected people are much higher than they were when the measures were introduced. It seems to make no sense that the measures are being lifted now when the epidemiological situation in that country is much worse than it was at the time the measures were introduced.
What has improved in Bosnia and Herzegovina to warrant the lifting of measures? Nothing, it's just that the elections are coming up
Bozinovic did not explain what has improved in Bosnia in Herzegovina to warrant the lifting of measures. He has only stated that we should try and coexist with the virus.
"We are in the phase of coexisting with the virus, and we are doing analyses on a daily basis. The EU will probably recommend some measures soon. We will probably relax our border crossing regime to some extent when it comes to EU citizens and our neighboring countries. This means that people entering the Republic of Croatia from Bosnia and Herzegovina will no longer be required to self-isolate. I expect we will introduce these new measures tomorrow at the latest," Bozinovic said yesterday. It seems that the borders with Serbia might also open, even though there have been about 250 newly infected people in Serbia each of the last few days.
It should also be mentioned that the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina reacted negatively to the introduction of stricter measures, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Bisera Turkovic made an announcement regarding the introduction of reciprocal measures, which she withdrew after Croatia lifted the measure of mandatory self-isolation. However, it is unlikely that the announcement of reciprocal measures from Bosnia and Herzegovina forced the Croatian authorities to lift the measures, which leads us to another possible and much more probable reason - the elections that will be held on Sunday.
After all, the president of the Bosnian and Herzegovinian HDZ explained everything very well yesterday: "No border can separate the Croatian people into two different countries. I want to thank Prime Minister Plenkovic for his quick reaction and rational decision."