The coronavirus pandemic has so far directly and indirectly cost the state and the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) ten billion marks. Economists estimate that a day of partial lockdown costs the economy between 5 and 10 million marks. As doctors say, restricting and completely banning the work of certain activities at this time are the only way to prevent the collapse of the health system.
The pandemic of coronavirus affects the entire economy, but its consequences on small crafts, artisans, tourism, and catering are far more severe than on larger systems. Hedija Suzana Halilovic, the owner of a pizzeria in Banja Luka, has not been working for two weeks now. Since her workers urged, she will try counter sales and delivery today. She is not sure that this will cover the costs and get enough funds to pay the salaries.
“This is terrible. I believe this is terrible and that in 10 days my workers will not know how to buy themselves bread and milk. Simply put, survival is at stake. It is no longer a question of whether we will have fuel in the car, buy cigarettes, or drink coffee. We won’t have enough to buy food, ” stated Halilovic.
Measures taken to prevent the spread of the pandemic have probably had the biggest impact on caterers, who had to lay off several thousand workers in the last year. Now, they say, the existence of the entire sector and the remaining employees in it is endangered.
“We had a figure of around 12-13 thousand directly employed in the catering and tourism sector. Now it has dropped to 10 thousand, and indirectly, around 30 to 40 thousand families live from various areas related exclusively to catering, ” told Goran Kurtinovic from the Association of Catering and Tourism Employers of the Republika Srpska (RS) ‘Horeca’. “
Economy or health of citizens. There is no dilemma for doctors. Health and human lives are priceless. But in order to bring the pandemic under control, as they note, measures themselves are not enough.
“Epidemiological, immunological, prophylactic measures have limitations. Only when they are implemented together with the vaccine, they are homogeneous. When they are active, is it a powerful weapon in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. The measures themselves can bring some results, but they cannot be used without some other method, ” pointed out Jasenko Karamehic, President of the Association of Immunologists of BiH.
Nobody knows the exact financial damage from the pandemic. Revenues from VAT, customs, and excise were decreased by 700 million BAM. The losses of the companies are measured in billions of marks. Tens of thousands of workers have lost their jobs. According to economists, when it comes to business terms, this year will be significantly more difficult than last year due to the indolent behavior of our politicians.
“It is difficult to make precise estimates of the costs of this crisis on a daily basis, but it is likely in the range of 5-10 million BAM per day. Probably, the costs will be even higher when all this ends, because this is a global crisis, ” said economic analyst Admir Cavalic.
The caterers announced a peaceful protest gathering in Banja Luka tomorrow at 5 p.m. since they were dissatisfied with conclusions made on Friday by the Crisis Staff, which extended the ban on the work of bars for another seven days, while shopping centers were allowed to work from tomorrow, BHRT writes.