The number of coronavirus cases around the world is over 80,000, and the impact of the epidemic is growing
Romanian authorities urge citizens not to panic as the new coronavirus is spreading in Europe, particularly in Italy, and recommend that people only resort to official sources for information. An emergency committee has been called to put together an action plan for the management of what the experts now call the COVID-19 infection. The authorities passed a resolution laying down measures to improve the response to and prevention of the infection. The interim interior minister Marcel Vela presented these measures:
Marcel Vela: “Quarantine is in place for the citizens who travel from Italy to Romania, as well as home isolation for those who live in risk areas in Italy. The government will issue a resolution to earmark the funds for the quarantine measures, for salaries and for the production of information materials. The Healthcare Ministry and Defence Ministry will appoint experts for a task force in charge with outlining possible scenarios, depending on how the epidemic develops. A call service will also be in place for the people who need information regarding the COVID-19 infection.”
A communication group will also provide official information to the mass media and citizens. Marcel Vela also announced that the airport forms to be filled in by passengers coming from high-risk areas will also include a Criminal Code article regarding the penalties for false statements. The measure is introduced after 2 Romanians failed to stay in home isolation for 14 days after returning from China, and are now facing prison or a fine.
At present around 1,000 people in Romania are under home isolation measures, and several dozen are in quarantine. Quarantine centres have been designated in several parts of the country, for those suspected of being infected. According to the acting healthcare minister Victor Costache, Romania has around 120 quarantine centres for around 4,000 suspected patients.
In turn, PM designate Ludovic Orban called on Romanians to avoid trips to high-risk areas in Italy, except for cases of absolute necessity. Orban urged the nearly 1.2 million Romanian ethnics living in Italy to comply with all the decisions and recommendations made by the Italian authorities. Meanwhile, President Klaus Iohannis announced a meeting of the Supreme Defence Council on Wednesday, and called for responsibility on the part of politicians and mass media in handling this crisis.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)