Bosnia reports record daily number of COVID-19 deaths
SARAJEVO (Reuters) – Bosnia reported a record daily number of deaths from COVID-19 on Monday as medical staff said the health system was in danger of being overwhelmed and demonstrators took to the streets to protest against the closure of bars and restaurants.
The Balkan country of about 3.3 million, which has yet to begin mass inoculations because of a shortage of vaccines, reported 73 deaths and 818 new coronavirus cases on Monday, health authorities said.
Of the new cases, 568 were recorded in the capital Sarajevo, which has this month become an epicentre of infections and deaths, with an average daily number of 699 coronavirus cases in the last week.
While Sarajevo, which is located in Bosnia’s autonomous Bosniak-Croat Federation, imposed a stricter night curfew and closed cafes and restaurants for two weeks on March 13, the country’s Serb Republic imposed new restrictions from Monday, prompting peaceful protests across the region.
The Serb authorities shut down bars, restaurants, shopping malls, ski resorts, wellness and fitness centres and hairdressing salons after the number of COVID-19 patients has threatened to overwhelm hospitals.
The Serb Republic has begun the inoculation of its medical staff and elderly with Russian Sputnik V, while the Bosniak-Croat Federation started vaccinating its health workers with AstraZeneca vaccine donated by Serbia.
The first batch of 23,400 Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines that Bosnia had ordered under COVAX scheme for poorer countries is expected to arrive on Wednesday.
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