The spectacular rise in the number of COVID-19 cases prompts the Romanian authorities to consider introducing new restrictions.
On Wednesday Romania reported a record number of infections with the new coronavirus in one single day, namely more than 2,000. SARS-CoV-2 kills tens of Romanians every day, with the total death toll nearing 5,000. Since the onset of the pandemic, around 130 thousand people have been infected with the virus, and more than 100 thousand patients have recovered. Professor Alexandru Rafila, a member in the World Health Organization Executive Committee, says Romania is now in the grips of a second wave of the pandemic, like many other EU countries.
Although worrying, the situation is not unexpected. Both experts and the mass media had predicted, as early as this summer, that September was going to be a difficult month, as the number of contaminations was going to grow with the start of the new school year, with the people’s return from holidays and the holding of local elections, organized this past Sunday. The PM Ludovic Orban admits that the authorities could not control the celebration parties organized after the results of the elections were announced and called on the participants, irrespective of the party they belong to, to consider themselves ‘potentially infected’ with the new coronavirus.
The PM also points a finger at the mayors whose terms in office were ending ahead of the elections and who refused to impose in their communities the protection measures adopted by the government to fight the pandemic, for fear they might become unpopular. According to the PM, the newly elected mayors don’t risk losing the citizens’ sympathy and that prefects can ask for the quick enforcement of restrictions where it is necessary.
Ludovic Orban: “I have asked for intensified checks on regulation observance and for clear decisions to be made. If the law requires it, the authorities must decide on introducing restrictions so as to prevent the spread of the virus. I have equally called on the County Councils for Emergency Situations to impose quarantine measures wherever necessary.”
The PM has again called on schools and universities representatives to ensure the observance of health protection and disinfection regulations, social distancing and the wearing of masks. PM Orban also announced that, on Monday, the National Committee for Emergency Situations would decide on re-introducing restrictions for those countries which, in the past 14 days, reported an infection rate higher than that reported in Romania.
He went on to say that the persons coming to Romania for more than 3 days would have to remain in isolation, but they will be able to leave isolation on the 5th day if they produce a negative COVID-19 test. On the other hand, the persons who come to Romania for only 3 days will not be obliged to self-isolation, but they need to produce a negative COVID-19 test, made 48 hours prior to their entering Romania. (tr. L. Simion)