Health Minister Nelu Tataru has warned Romanians that the novel coronavirus will be around for the next two years.
Tataru said people should get accustomed to the idea as „we are not yet close to having a vaccine against COVID-19,” as this process requires a stabilization of the virus.
„There has to be a period of study, of testing on healthy people, and after this period, we can procure it and start a mass vaccination campaign,” he added.
“We have to get used to the idea that „we will live with the coronavirus for the next two years,” he told Antena 3 news channel on Tuesday.
„From the experience of the 2009 swine flu pandemic, we could see that a pandemic was followed by two years of seasonal epidemics. That’s how it’s going to be this time.
Romania is expected to reach the peak of the pandemic at the beginning of May. Authorities are waiting to see how infections will develop after the Easter holidays, he said.
However, Romanian epidemiologist Geza Molvar said while a new cycle of the virus would reappear in the autumn “it won’t have the same power, and it won’t spread as much,” he said. Molvar has 45 years’ experience as an epidemiologist.
President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday that if infections and deaths from COVID-19 decrease after May 15 when a two-month state of emergency ends, authorities can take steps to lit restrictions.
However, he warned that a relaxation of the current strict lockdown “will be done in steps, because specialists say this virus doesn’t disappear and we will have to continue to live with certain restrictions,” he added.