Romania president urges lawmakers to prioritize public health as Covid-19 cases spike. ‘The virus is real, it has no political color, it won’t disappear simply by denying its existence’


President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday urged politicians, the media and other people with influence to leave differences aside and prioritize public health, as Romania reported the largest number of new coronavirus infections in a day.

„In the spirit of the constitution, I appeal for there to be loyal collaboration between state institutes,” Iohannis said.

“The virus is real, it has no political color, it can’t be made illegal, and it won’t disappear simply by denying its existence,” he said.

“It’s not the moment for political disputes and pride. The public interest should prevail, and above anything saving Romanians’ live and protecting the citizens of our country,” he said.

As president, Iohannis, who used to head the Liberal Party, is not allowed to be a member of any political party.

He spoke after Romania reported a record number of 614 new cases of coronavirus in the past day, taking the total infections to 30,789.

Last week, the Constitutional Court ruled that the government doesn’t have the authority to enforce quarantine. The minority Liberal government is trying to get Parliament to pass a law this week so it can enforce quarantine which it says it needs to slow the spread of the virus.

Since the ruling, hundreds of patients have voluntarily discharged from hospital and thousands have walked out of quarantine facilities or home quarantine.

Alluding to the current situation, Iohannis said that “in such moments of testing for the whole country, politicians from all parties should rise to the level of the office they hold.”

He said that politicians, journalists, members of civil society should look beyond their differences and send a united message.

He urged parliament to pass a law that would give the government the legal framework to protect public health such as the authority to impose quarantine.


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