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Mandić: Individual rights must not jeopardize the rights of entire community

Text: Aida Kovač, FENA Photo/Harun Muminović

SARAJEVO, April 22 (FENA) - The population must realize that individual rights must not jeopardize the rights of the entire community, said today the FBiH Health Minister Vjekoslav Mandić said answering a journalist's question regarding citizens' discontent with forced isolation in dormitories and hotels.

Mandić said that on April 14, they had sent a message to all health ministries that the World Health Organization had made a recommendation that after 14 days of the positive epidemiological report and a negative test for coronavirus, people should be allowed to leave the isolation.

"It is clear from the instruction that everyone must be tested in order to leave the isolation," Minister Mandić said, noting that a positive epidemiological report is one of the conditions for a quarantine measure to be implemented in 14 days.

Answering the question of what is the legal framework for keeping people in quarantine, he replied that it is the legal framework in the Law on the Protection of People from Infectious Diseases and the order of the FBiH Civil Protection Crisis Staff on the quarantine measure.

He explained that there was a legal stronghold and that he saw no reason for people to file lawsuits.

Asked if the scope of testing would be expanded beyond those with indications and symptoms, he said it was up to the professionals to decide who should be tested.

Speaking about the announcement of gradual mitigation of measures, he stated that the epidemiological situation would be monitored first, and if experts say that we can start mitigating the measures, we should first do it with elderly people to allow them greater mobility.

"However, that certainly does not mean that we will allow the opening of cafes and other public spaces to operate. We will also have to think carefully about small crafts, with strict recommendations for keeping social distance, wearing mandatory masks and gloves," Mandić said.

He noted that when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic, "we are nowhere near the final stage."

"We will keep social distancing for a long time with obligatory masks and gloves. I don't think we should, in any case, think that we are near the end of the pandemic because we can make the mistake that the World Health Organization warned us about. Only one mistake can lead to an exponential increase in the number of patients," Minister Mandić warned.      

Asked about problems faced by parents of children with disabilities, especially in the procurement of a drug for epilepsy, Minister Mandić replied that this category of population has not been forgotten, but they have a problem because the EU countries, in this case, Germany, has placed a ban on the export of medicines.