Romania reports 6,500 new Covid-19 cases as authorities extend curfew to curb rise in infections

Foto: INQUAM/Octav Ganea

Coronavirus cases stayed high in Romania on Friday hours after the government extended a curfew to slow the rise of infections in the East European country.

Authorities reported 6,516 new cases Friday lunchtime for the past 24 hours. That was slightly lower than Thursday which was the highest daily tally this year. There were 116 virus-related deaths.

Overall, 1,364 Covid-19 patients were hospitalized in intensive care units.

Cases have risen to over 6,000 a day on most days since mid-March, with a surge in the capital and surrounding areas. The spike has alarmed authorities and is adding pressure to underfunded state hospitals, already struggling to cope with extra patients.

Bucharest posted 1,286 new cases on Friday just before the start of a 8 p.m. curfew which will run over the weekend.

Under the new restrictions announced late Thursday, shops will shut at 6 p.m. from Friday to Sunday in places where there are more than 4 cases per 1,000 people.

Movement will be restricted from 8 p.m. throughout the week anywhere with 7.5 cases or more per 1,000 people.

The government has stopped short of enforcing a strict lockdown in the capital of more than 2 million, which would be unpopular and hard to enforce.

However, the curfew will be relaxed for people who want to attend upcoming  Easter and Passover services.

Western Christian churches celebrate Easter next weekend and the Orthodox mark the religious festival on May 2.


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