Romania announces lockdown. President calls in Army to help stop spread of coronavirus pandemic


President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday announced a lockdown in Romania, saying the Army would be summoned to help enforce measures Romania has put in place as it battles to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

“The situation has become more complex…. and we have agreed we need supplementary measures to stop and slow the spread of the infection,” the president said minutes after authorities said the number of coronavirus cases rose to 762 on Tuesday, the sharpest spike in a day.

“There will be new restrictions on people’s movements…Until now this was just a recommendation,” he said. “People obviously can go out to work and return and do absolutely necessary daily food shopping,” he said. „But these restrictions (now) become obligations.”

“The Army will make available personnel who will supplement … the Gendarmerie (riot police) and the police.”

He said there would be „special restrictions” for the over-65s „in their own interest.”

„They will basically will have to stay at home all the time,” he said in an address of under four minutes.

“There will be electronic surveillance of people in quarantine,” to also slow the spread of the virus.

Iohannis decreed a 30-day state of emergency on March 16, and authorities introduced measures to stop the virus spreading.

Malls, shops, restaurants were shut and sporting and cultural activities were suspended. Flights have been stopped to and from Italy and Spain, flash points for the novel coronavirus where up to two million Romanians live.

Iohannis met Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, Defense Minister Nicolae Ciuca and Health Minister Victor Costache at the Cotroceni presidential palace before he made his announcement.



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