A law came into effect Tuesday allowing the government to isolate Covid-19 patients and impose quarantines to stop the spread of the highly contagious virus.
A legislative void enabled thousands of Romanians infected with the virus to leave hospital and high-risk cases not to be quarantined.
The country has seen a spike in the last month after lockdown restrictions were loosened.
The government managed the outbreak through a series of decrees by hospitalizing those who were infected and by isolating people who might have been exposed.
But in a July 2 ruling, the Constitutional Court said that the government didn’t have the authority to enforce quarantine or hospitalization, and such measures could only be taken through a parliamentary law.
A new law approved by parliament last week came into effect Tuesday.
„From tomorrow we have a law, we can hospitalise, we can isolate,” Health Minister Nelu Tataru told Digi 24 late Monday. „If we enforce these levers, we can reduce the number of infections.”
He said daily cases could spike to over 1,000 in the coming days and the government could decide to impose local lockdowns including at companies where there were outbreaks.
Some 972 people who tested positive for the virus discharged themselves voluntarily from hospital against medical advice since the court ruling, while some 3,680 infected people were not hospitalized at all, authorities said.
On Monday, Romania had recorded a total of 38,139 cases and 2,038 deaths,