The Romanian authorities are considering placing the whole country into isolation to further limit the spreading of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), according to a draft decision of the technical-scientific group for managing highly contagious diseases in Romania.
A PDF document with this decision, which appears to be authored by the coordinator of this group, Dr. Raed Arafat, who is also the head of the Emergency Situations Department (DSU) in Romania, has circulated via WhatsApp and social media on Friday morning, March 20.
The authorities reacted to the leaked document saying that this is only a working document, and that, in case such a decision will be taken in the future, its provisions may be slightly changed. Moreover, if any movement restrictions are enforced, the authorities will take all necessary measures to support the population, Raed Arafat wrote in a Facebook post.
The draft decision that has circulated on the internet stipulates that people are not allowed to leave their homes or residence, with only a few exceptions, namely those who absolutely have to go to work or have been delegated by their employers to go somewhere, those who need to go to medical consultations that can’t be postponed. Trips are also allowed for basic necessity shopping and for providing social assistance to elderly or vulnerable people.
People will also be allowed to leave their homes to do sports (alone) in the proximity of their homes or to walk their pets. Those who move outside their homes would have to fill in a statement beforehand, to be shown to the authorities.
The Strategic Communication Group, which handles all public communication related to the coronavirus crisis, has issued the following remarks related to the leaked document:
1. It is a working document (DRAFT), which is analyzed at the level of the Technical-Scientific Support Group, a body subordinated to the CNSSU, made up of specialists in epidemiology and infectious diseases.
2. It is NOT a document approved at the level of the Scientific-Technical Support Group and it has NOT been submitted for approval by the National Committee for Special Emergency Situations (CNSSU), a body empowered to make decisions in such situations.
3. The decisions of the Technical-Scientific Support Group shall be proposed to the CNSSU, only after they have been approved at the level of the Technical-Scientific Support Group.
4. At the level of the Technical-Scientific Support Group, different proposals are analyzed, based on scenarios regarding the evolution of the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19), considering the practice of other states facing the same problem.
5. We point out that the document that has been made public does NOT mention the date from which the measures regarding the movement of persons are applicable. This shows that the measures do NOT have immediate applicability since they are proposals related to possible scenarios regarding the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
6. At the level of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the decision was taken to notify the criminal investigation bodies for the crime of unlawful disclosure of information that is not intended for publicity.
7. The General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police notified DIICOT about the offense of distributing information not intended for publicity, in terms of the offense provided by art. 304 Penal Code, punishable by imprisonment from 3 months to 3 years.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos / Ciprian Petcut)