It’s called Romania’s ‘Lombardy.’
The city of Suceava in northern Romania is the first region to be placed under a strict lockdown after nearly more than 600 cases of coronavirus were reported there, more than a quarter of all cases in Romania.
Local videographer, Radu Baran, created an eerie video with aerial views of different parts of the city of 100,000 on Tuesday, the first day it was placed in quarantine and posted it on Facebook and YouTube.
“Suceava was a lively city, full of life, with buzzing streets! Now we are quarantined! Let’s all be on the front line and bring Suceava back to life again!” he wrote, telling residents to “stati acasa” the Romanian for “stay home.”
The 2.48 minute minute film shows deserted streets and a few cars on other highways, roads which are normally congested.
The video has a soundtrack of somber music, including violins and a background noise that almost sounds like shallow breathing, one of the symptoms of COVID-19, the virus which has sickened 2,500 people in Romania and led to 85 deaths.
One of the most visible signs of the partial lockdown which has been imposed elsewhere in Romania, is the huge reduction in traffic. Bucharest, which is notorious for its traffic jams, has seen traffic levels drop drastically after schools, offices and shops closed under a 30-day state of emergency.
Interior Minister Marcel Vela ordered Suceava and the surrounding area, with a total population of 160,000 people, to be placed under lockdown starting Tuesday after a mass infection broke out at the St John the New Hospital, infecting patients and 180 health professionals.
It is the first city in Romania to be in a tight quarantine until mid-April, with only trucked goods allowed in.
Suceava registered 638 cases of Covid-19, and 31 deaths on April 1, more than a third of the coronavirus-related deaths reported so far in Romania.
Within the quarantined area, the same rules as in the rest of the country apply. People are allowed to leave their homes for basic shopping, work, medical treatment or to take care of elderly people or children.