Romania has 308 cases of people who tested positive for the new coronavirus, with 11 patients receiving treatment in intensive care, authorities said Friday.
Thirty-one new cases were registered in the past 24 hours, the Strategic Communication Group said. The new cases are aged between 17 and 89. A total of 31 people have recovered since the outbreak began. Nobody has died.
The number of new infections rose in recent days, as Romania declared a 30-day state of emergency to enable officials to contain the spread of the highly contagious virus.
Schools and universities have been closed, and many people have been told to work from home to lessen the risk of contagion. Restaurants, bars and clubs are closed as of Monday. Church services have been halted and outdoor gatherings of more than 100 people are banned.
The government announced jail sentences for people who break quarantine rules on Thursday, with a sentence of up to 15 years is the case of a person who knows they are infected and breaks the rules and someone else catches the virus and dies as a result of their actions.
Anyone who doesn’t respect quarantine rules could face up to three years in prison, while there is a maximum five-year punishment if their actions lead to the infection of another person. The government passed the measures by emergency decree.
„We can’t accept that irresponsible citizens who should be isolated don’t respect the rules, walk around freely among others and risk making other people sick,” Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said.
Around 4,000 people have been placed in quarantine in Romania, mostly people returning from high-risk areas or those who have had contact with a confirmed or suspected coronavirus patient. There are more than 40,000 people in self-isolation.
Flights to and from Italy, the epicenter of the European coronavirus pandemic, and Spain where the death toll surged past 1,000 on Friday, have been suspended.
With the Easter holiday weeks away, President Klaus Iohannis pleaded with Romanians living in western Europe and elsewhere not to return home for Easter.