PM Ludovic Orban has presented a report in Parliament on how the Government handled the coronavirus pandemic and on the measures regarding the start of the school year and local elections.
Romanian PM Ludovic Orban presented Parliament on Wednesday a report on how the Government handled the situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the measures to be taken to limit new infections, the staging of the local elections on September 27 and the opening of schools. The report was requested in the context of a surge in the number of new infections over the past few weeks. The PM explained that the biggest number of new infections was registered in the period when the Government, following a Constitutional Court's decision, lacked the legal background to impose its quarantine and isolation rules and when relaxation measures were introduced gradually. Orban pointed out that the Government took all necessary measures as soon as Parliament provided the legal tools needed, as it was the case in all European countries. Orban mentioned the tens of thousands of people who could thus be isolated and quarantined. The PM called on Parliament to support the Government's effort to convince people that the solution to prevent the spread of the virus was to respect the rules.
Ludovic Orban: "I urge you to back our public communication effort, aimed to convince the skeptics and the misinformed to take this virus seriously. The coronavirus kills people. Observing the rules means not only protecting ourselves, but protecting the others, protecting their lives and health. "
According to Ludovic Orban, the testing capacity increased as of March from 4,500 tests per day to 25,000. Checks have also increased and a lot of fines have been given. The PM announced the start of the school year for September 14. Face masks will be compulsory in schools, which will be equipped with disinfectants and separators, where possible, to reduce physical contact. As for the local elections, the PM announced that they can be staged without increasing the risk to spread the virus and pointed out that how voting unfolds depends on the fairness of the candidates and of their supporters. Marcel Ciolacu, the interim president of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the largest opposition party in Romania, has accused the Liberal Government of having destroyed economy and not having taken the right measures for the safe opening of schools.
Marcel Ciolacu: “You have lost control of the situation and failed in handling the pandemic and re-launching economy. You were only interested in the elections and positions for your relatives and party faitful, to the detriment of Romanians. “
Marceal Ciolacu has announced that the PSD will table a censure motion against the Government on Monday. Victor Ponta, the leader of the PRO Romania, has announced his party will back the PSD. The representative of the center-right Save Romania Union (USR), Catalin Drula, has said that people are right to be afraid as there is chaos and uncertainty and authorities have failed to come up with a coherent plan to the crisis. Another center-right party, People's Movement Party (PMP), has said the coronavirus pandemic was mismanaged, while the Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania said the Orban Government was and continues to be overwhelmed by the situation. (Translated by Elena Enache)