Romania’s president says lockdown is not being considered
The national authorities are not currently considering a lockdown, president Klaus Iohannis said at a press conference on October 21, when Romania reported close to 5,000 new Covid-19 cases. The focus is instead on limiting the spread of the virus and allowing essential activities to continue.
“At this point, we are not discussing a so-called lockdown, meaning closing down all activities, but we are looking for solutions that limit the spread of the virus while carrying on with the essential activities. In the end, we need to find a way to carry on despite the pandemic, regardless of how worried we might be, and I am very worried,” the president said.
He explained that the same approach applies to the parliamentary elections. “There is no democracy without elections. We have a pandemic, but, at the same time, the mandate of the Parliament is coming to an end, and we need to elect a new Parliament, but in very special circumstances.”
“What are we doing? Closing down the country for two weeks? Then what? We need to start back from scratch again. We cannot think that we will go back to normal in a month or two. We will go back to normal if we are careful now, and in a month or two, and if scientists develop a vaccine, soon enough, I hope,” Iohannis said.
The number of intensive care beds in the Covid-19 hospitals needs to be increased, the president said.
He also said Romania does not have the capacity for mass testing as it lacks the endowment and the staff for this. “Mass testing is recommended by people who want to seem interesting. What is recommended – and this is why the number of tests performed keeps increasing in Romania – is to test all suspected persons or potential cases. You know very well that an epidemiological inquiry is carried out, and everyone is tested. The fact that we reached 37,000 tests per day is notable if we think about where we started.”
Meanwhile, prime minister Ludovic Orban said the Government’s assessments show the growth rate of coronavirus infections will decrease, Agerpres reported.
The PM said the situation in every county and locality is closely followed to introduce the appropriate measures to limit the spread of the virus.
Romania reported 4,848 new Covid-19 cases on October 21, the highest daily count since the start of the pandemic, bringing the total number of cases to 191,102. The new cases were reported out of 37,025 tests performed in 24 hours, another daily high.