Coronavirus in Romania: Authorities say all scenarios are on the table for May 15
The authorities are looking at several scenarios after May 15, when the state of emergency is to end in the country, as the situation generated by the coronavirus pandemic is still risky, Ionel Dancă, the head of the chancellery of the prime minister said.
“All scenarios are on the table. There is the possibility of extending the state of emergency; there is the scenario of changing this and declaring the state of alert, which allows the authorities to adopt restrictive measures but of a narrower reach. There is also the possibility to give up on the state of emergency and run an ample informative campaign to ensure that many comply with the authorities’ recommendations,” Dancă told Digi24 TV station in an interview, quoted by News.ro.
He explained that the measures that will be taken would come after a “very rigorous” assessment and depend on the number of coronavirus cases.
“In the past few days we see that, despite all recommendations, maybe against the background of an expected easing, new cases and new hotspots appeared. This is why we need to stay vigilant,” he said. He argued that it was essential not to rush in and adopt measures that could lead to losing control over the management of the pandemic.
Dancă also explained that the local authorities started the battle against the coronavirus “empty-handed” but, in a very short time, managed to stock up on medical supplies and start the domestic production.
“The production of masks and coveralls has already started; work is underway on the production of the materials needed for these items, and on the production of other medical equipment because we need to be ready for a second wave,” he said.
Dancă said that areas where there is a high risk for the infection to spread, such as restaurants and malls, would not open in the first phase of the easing of the lockdown restrictions.
In his turn, Raed Arafat, the head of the Emergency Situations Department (DSU), also said malls would probably not reopen immediately after May 15, News.ro reported.
He also explained that the lockdown restrictions would be lifted at different times, later in the case of the areas with coronavirus hotspots. Referring to Suceava, the largest coronavirus hotspot in the country, he said the restrictions would be in place until the problem is solved.
Arafat also argued in favor of supplementing the means of public transportation to avoid the crowding of subway trains or buses. Having employees start work at different hours could be another measure that would prevent crowding, he said. Referring to air transport, he explained that the decisions would be taken at an EU level.
The DSU head also said that, by fall, all hospitals need to revise their protocols and procedures to have areas where they could treat Covid-19 patients, News.ro reported. Mobile military hospitals will remain open at least until the end of the year, he said.