Romania goes into the ‘red zone’ as Covid-19 cases soar. One place still in ‘green’

Most of Romania entered the ‘red zone’ on Friday after the country saw record high number of cases this week, triggering alarm and restrictions.

Wednesday saw an absolute negative record with 15,037 new cases registered nationwide. There fewer than 14,000 new cases confirmed Friday, the lowest rate in four days. But it was still worryingly higher than previous weeks. A month ago there were about 2,000 cases a day.

The hardest-hit  area is Bucharest, which has 2 million residents, the city’s public health department said. The infection rate, which is measured over a 14-day rolling period, leapt to 12.24 per 1,000 inhabitants, up from 11.49 on Thursday.

On Friday lunchtime, there were seven ambulances carrying Covid-19 patients parked outside the University Hospital, and no free beds, Digi24 reported. The patients were later hospitalized, the channel reported.

The increase in new cases brought more restrictions ahead of the weekend. Around Bucharest, there were lines outside vaccine centers, saw. Elderly people went for third shots, while young people said they were concerned about rising cases.

Masks became compulsory both inside and outdoors this week. A curfew will be imposed this weekend for people who are unvaccinated.

Only people with vaccine certificates will be given unfettered access to shows, restaurants and private events starting Sunday.

Masks are mandatory in all public places where there are more than 6 cases per 1,000, a move authorities hope will slow the spread of the more contagious delta variant.

Thirty-eight of Romania’s 41 counties are now in the ‘red scenario.” Two are in the “yellow zone.” The central county of Covasna has the least cases in Romania, registering an infection rate of 1.95 per 1,000 inhabitants.

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