Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis on Monday said he would extend the state of emergency by another month as authorities battle to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.
“It’s not the moment for us to relax, “said Iohannis in a live address from the Cotroceni presidential palace. “We must be careful, we mustn’t panic and we must respect the official rules.”
He warned that Romania hadn’t yet reached the peak of the crisis which experts say will come later this month. On Monday, Romania had more than 4,000 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, and 162 deaths since the outbreak.
Iohannis decreed a state of emergency on March 16 to allow authorities to impose measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The president said that he had „reached the conclusion that it will be necessary to extend the state of emergency……next week I will issue a new decree which will extend the state of emergency for another 30 days.”
“This period is absolutely necessary to keep things, and to keep the epidemic under control.”
“this epidemic is not unfortunately a public health crisis, it affects the whole economy and will affect the budget,” saying the budget deficit would likely grow “substantially.”
Iohannis said Romania would receive 2.5 million surgical masks for healthcare staff, five million masks for police and gendarmes and eight million for the general population. Authorities will also receive half a million hazmat suits.
Romania will also send a team of 11 medics and six nurses to Milan to help efforts there. The Lombardy region, where Milan is located is the epicenter of Europe’s coronavirus pandemic.
Romania has close ties to Italy, due to cultural, historical and linguistic links. There are more than 1 million Romanians who live in Italy, where many work.