Coronavirus cases stayed high in the Romanian capital on Friday with 1,093 new infections reported in the past 24 hours hours before weekend restrictions kicked in.
Overall, cases fell in Romania to under 5,000 for the second day in a row. The drop in numbers came after two weeks of new restrictions in the capital such as a curfew and shortened shopping hours from Friday to Sunday.
There were 134 virus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, which though high is the lowest single-day tally since Monday.
Almost 1,500 Covid patients needed intensive care treatment on Friday, setting another new record.
The worst affected areas outside the capital were the northwest Cluj county which added 347 cases on Friday. Ilfov county next to the capital posted 327 new cases.
The high numbers for Bucharest and the surrounding area came as shops and restaurants prepared for three days of early closing and an 8 p.m. curfew.
A number of towns in the stricken Ilfov area have been in a semi-lockdown for three weeks, with shops closing at 6 p.m all week long and a permanent 8 p.m. curfew.
On Friday, authorities reported an infection rate of 8.5 per 1,000 people calculated over a rolling 14-day period. It’s the highest rate in all Romania, topping only Bucharest where the rate was 6.67 on Friday and Cluj, which I slightly lower than the capital.
The counties of Valcea in central Romania and Maramures in the far northwest both had fewer than 25 new cases.