Romania’s president declares state of emergency to fight the coronavirus: We are in a situation that humanity has not faced in recent history
“We are in a situation that humanity has not faced in recent history. We will go through this difficult test if we take the most drastic measures immediately and we all understand that their severity is as serious as the period we are going through,” Romania’s president Klaus Iohannis stated on Monday, March 16, as he officially declared the state of emergency in Romania for a period of 30 days.
“The pandemic caused by the spread of infections with the new coronavirus can only be stopped with exceptional measures, which have proven to have positive effects in countries severely affected by the evolution of the virus. These measures are aimed at supporting public health, social and economic domains, but also come with restraining the exercise of fundamental rights and freedoms. No matter how hard we try to adapt to these limitations, this is the only way we can save the lives of our loved ones, the lives of those around us!” Iohannis said.
He also explained some of the consequences of the state of emergency and how this situation will change the citizen’s lives in the next period.
“The schools will be closed, to protect children and students, the activity in pre-university and university education is suspended during the period of emergency. I welcome the efforts of teachers, but also of all those who have proposed and offer alternative academic preparation solutions, either online or through television, for students to go through this difficult period with as few gaps as possible. Technology today offers us a considerable advantage in this regard,” the president said.
“It is very important to limit the financial burden on citizens during these difficult times. Thus, during the period of emergency, if necessary, the prices may be capped on medicines and medical equipment, on foods of strict necessity, and on services of public utility, such as electricity and heat, gas, water supply, sanitation, fuel, within the limit of the average price of the last three months before declaring the state of emergency,” he added.
“I want to be very clear the following thing: the medical services for treating the cases of infection with the new coronavirus and their complications are granted to all persons on the territory of Romania and is supported by the budget of the National Health Insurance Fund!” the president went on.
Support measures will also be established for people isolated at home, as a result of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. These measures will be implemented by the local public administration authorities.
Employers and employees affected by the effects of the COVID-19 crisis will be supported by derogations from the legal provisions in force, according to the president.
“The employees from the economic sectors whose activity is affected or even totally or partially stopped during the state of emergency by decisions of the public authorities, and their families, will benefit from social protection. During the period of emergency, the provisions of the law on granting parents free days for the supervision of the children, in the situation of the temporary closure of the educational units, do not apply to the employees of the national defense system, to the employees of penitentiaries, to the personnel from the public health units and to other categories established after case,” the president explained.
Work from home or remote work is possible in state institutions and private companies. At the same time, it is no longer necessary to go to the premises of the institutions for filing applications for the granting of benefits and social benefits. Such applications can be submitted electronically.
“An extremely important chapter of the decree establishing the state of emergency concerns the measures in the health field. Thus, we have arranged that in the structures of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in the sanitary units and in the social assistance services, the personnel necessary to supplement the medical needs arising could be hired without competition,” president Iohannis said.
“We also ordered the provision of the necessary amounts in the budget of the Ministry of Health for the purchase of materials, equipment and medicines during the pandemic through the direct procurement procedure,” he added
In the economic sector, the Government can adopt measures to support the economic operators in the areas affected by COVID-19 and will announce soon the package of solutions prepared.
“Our nation is going through difficult times. But we are Romanians, and our people has been subjected to terrible trials in the past, and together we managed to overcome them all well. Today, we are not alone in the fight to limit the harmful effects of the coronavirus epidemic. A global crisis requires global solutions, not just local ones. The international effort is a huge one, we coordinate with our partners in the European Union and together we are confident that we will overcome this difficult test with success,” the president concluded.
(Photo source: Presidency.ro)