The Republic of Srpska and Serbia have agreed on measures to extend the curfew during Easter and are asking all believers to show understanding, said Serb member of the BiH Presidency Milorad Dodik, after meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, in Belgrade.
“We talked about Easter, the fact that we are in extraordinary circumstances and that we must not, because of the love we have for the Serbian Orthodox Church, allow the expansion of the virus to spread, as we have been somehow tolerant”, Dodik said on a press conference.
According to him, the measures in Srpska and Serbia have been harmonized, that is, the curfew and the ban on gathering will have to be extended to prevent the virus from spreading.
“We ask all believers to understand this. We have the opportunity to express our love of faith and Easter in the family circle while respecting the measures taken by the authorities. This is necessary. Without hesitation, we must prohibit the movement and assembly”, Dodik said.
He cited the example of Montenegro, where the SOC urges believers not to come to the temples, where priests will perform the service, but without the presence of the people.
“This is a good example. It is important that there is no gathering and that the possibility of spreading the epidemic is eliminated. This is an opportunity for other Church representatives to act in the same manner”, Dodik said.
He continued saying that the Republic of Srpska would have had it much worse in terms of the epidemic, without Serbia’s help.
“Our efforts turned out to be good; we introduced the timely closing of the schools, retail chains, hotels. However, the most significant measure is the quarantine at the border introduced for citizens coming from abroad. This yielded the greatest results. We must not jeopardize this, so we should continue with all measures of the state. All people are important, and Easter is important”, Dodik stressed.
He also thanked Vučić for the help Serbia sent to Republika Srpska and added that the economy is shaken by COVID-19.
“Our capabilities are limited by the RS Budget and we have ensured some space through the loan from the International Monetary Fund. We have a good understanding of the business sector, and only 800 workers were laid off this month”, Dodik said./ibna