Romanian authorities take new measures to prevent infection with coronavirus.
The health ministry in Bucharest has
announced a number of measures to prevent infection with the new coronavirus.
All persons returning to Romania from the regions in northern Italy where a
quarantine is in place will be in isolation for 14 days. The measure is applied
in Bucharest and other areas across the country where there are quarantine
centres. In Italy, which is home to many Romanians, the number of cases has
spiked, also making victims. Entire towns are in quarantine and schools,
hospitals, restaurants and shops are closed.
The Romanian state secretary Nelu
Tataru, who is in charge of the protection measures, has given assurances that
no one returning from Italy, whether by air or by road, can avoid quarantine.
He says more medical staff have been deployed to the border crossing points,
and the authorities have lists provided by the Romanian consulates in Italy
with the Romanians living in that country. Passengers arriving at the Bucharest
international airport from the regions in Italy affected by coronavirus enter
via the terminal for charter flights and are asked to fill in a short form
containing identification data and relevant information. The passengers are
then assisted by medical staff from the Department for Emergency Situations.
These are not the only measures
taken by the Romanian authorities. On Sunday, a number of prefectures around
the country held emergency meetings to establish prevention measures against
COVID-19, as the new virus has been named. The prime minister designate Ludovic
Orban has advised people to avoid travelling to areas at risk of contamination.
He says equipment, medicine and other necessary materials are being purchased.
Experts say prevention measures are essential. The head of the Department for
Emergency Situations Raed Arafat says infection with the coronavirus does not
have a cure and there's no specific vaccine for it, while the symptoms vary and
the virus can suffer mutations.
The manager of the Institute for
Infectious Diseases in Bucharest Adrian Streinu Cercel warns that the new
coronavirus spreads easily, through air. He told a TV station that Romania
currently has testing kits for 150 patients, but masks and protection suits are
also necessary, and these have to be imported. The interior ministry says it
has allocated over one million euros to purchase thermal scanners for airports
around the country. Measuring passengers' body temperature is the most
widespread measure in place at airports in the West in the fight against the
coronavirus originating in China.