A number of Romanian localities are in lockdown again, against a surge in infections, but a total shutdown is not considered.
The health crisis deepens in Romania, where the number of infections increases by the day. Authorities are looking for solutions to limit the spread of the virus and to properly treat patients, while the healthcare system is under huge pressure. A 14-day lockdown has been imposed in several localities. Health Minister Nelu Tataru has explained that avoiding lockdown is possible only if people protect themselves by observing the restrictions in force.
Nelu Tataru: ”Every locality is evaluated separately and its particularities are taken into account. As you can see, in terms of number of new infections, we exclude the hotbeds in care centers for the elderly, for children and for mental patients, which are already under quarantine. When we see community transmission which is not connected to a hotbed, we consider lockdown, but only after we impose restrictions. Restrictions are aimed to decrease the number of new infections.”
The Health Minister also said that in the case of a big city where many tests are conducted and the number of people who test positive is high, toughening restrictions is preferred over lockdown, provided that the city has hospitals or medical units able to deal with the situation. Nelu Tataru does not believe there will be a total shutdown in Romania before the parliamentary elections due on December 6. He has also explained that intensive care units need more beds and that their number will be supplemented in the counties of Cluj and Sibiu, which are dealing with a big number of cases. The medical units’ capacity to receive patients with mild symptoms will also be increased. Tataru said that emergency units are overcrowded but that, by using rapid tests in the upcoming period, will ease some of the pressure. A first transport of 43 thousand such tests is already being distributed to hospitals.
The medical staff in hospitals, general practitioners, the Department for Emergencies and the military will help with the anti-Covid vaccination, according to Minister Tataru. Health workers and people at highest risk of the disease will be the first immunized, early next year while the rest of the population may receive the vaccine some time next spring. Also, the Romanian official said that in the current stage of the epidemic, kindergartens and schools will remain closed, until the number of cases starts to drop. (Translated by Elena Enache)