Romania to increase Covid-19 testing capacity, lockdown not considered currently
Romania will be able to carry out 50,000 Covid-19 tests daily, health minister Nelu Tătaru announced.
The increase will come after 18 more testing centers will be added to the existing 141, Tătaru explained, quoted by Agerpres.
At the same time, prime minister Ludovic Orban explained the objective was to stop the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases with as little impact as possible on the economy.
“Europe is confronted with a dramatic increase of coronavirus infections. […] We need to be even more careful and vigilant in our actions in the coming period. Many countries are confronted with an almost inexplicable increase in the number of cases, and are introducing restrictions, just as they did during the first wave. Our objective needs to be to stop the increase in the number of cases, obviously without impacting the economic activity, and implement efficiently all the decisions we have taken,” Orban said on Wednesday, October 28.
On October 28, 368 localities in the country were in the red scenario, meaning the infection rate was higher than 3 per 1,000 inhabitants, state secretary Raed Arafat announced. The red scenario comes with a set of additional prevention measures, such as the requirement to wear a mask in all outdoor and indoor public venues, the closing of restaurants, cafes, theaters, and cinemas, and the closing of schools, which switch to holding classes online.
Meanwhile, president Klaus Iohannis said the authorities were not considering introducing the state of emergency over the winter holidays. However, this year’s holidays will mean a “return to what Christmas is – a celebration with the family.”
“The measures that were taken, the restrictions in place are the ones we known. At the same time, I think the winter holidays will be different from those of past years. There were certainly be restrictions in place; we will travel to fewer places; for instance, it will be very difficult to travel abroad because of the multiple restrictions in various countries. And I think this year we will return to what Christmas means. It is a celebration with the family,” Iohannis said.
He went on to explain that the country is not in a situation where another lockdown was being considered.
“We do not wish a so-called lockdown. For the time being, the situation doesn’t make us think of quarantine or lockdown,” he said.
The president argued the public and the authorities need to manage the pandemic together: the first by wearing a mask and following the other prevention rules, the latter by taking the appropriate measures, like increasing the number of available intensive care beds.
When asked about the variations in the infection rate data reported by the authorities, the president said he would look into the issue. “I want to explain a bit what we need to read and not in these reports. The data show large fluctuations from one day to the other. The pandemic doesn’t spread mathematically; it spreads by contact from one person to another,” he said.
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