Serbia bars indoor gatherings, closes some border crossings to counter coronavirus

BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbia barred all indoor gatherings and said it would close some small border crossings and step up health controls at others to stem the spread of the coronavirus infection.

President Aleksandar Vucic said the measures were agreed at a meeting on Wednesday between top government and public health officials, as the number of people diagnosed with the disease rose from four to 12 in a day.

“(Health) controls at major border crossings will be stepped up and some small border crossings will be closed,” Vucic told a news conference. “Indoor gatherings are banned.”

Hundreds of patients awaiting regular appointments at the Military Hospital in Belgrade had their temperatures checked and several with signs of fever were transferred to the clinic for infectious diseases for testing and treatment, the state-run RTS TV reported.

On Tuesday, Serbia barred entry to people arriving from Italy, certain provinces in China, South Korea, Iran and Switzerland.

Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Philippa Fletcher