Romanian president eyes new curfew as Covid-19 cases rise, but promises no Easter lockdown

Foto: INQUAM/George Călin

Romania’s president says authorities are mulling a 10pm curfew after a recent spike in coronavirus cases and an increase in patients suffering from a severe form of the virus.

However, despite the recent rise in figures, President Klaus Iohannis, also tried to reassure the public that there were no plans to impose a lockdown at Easter like last year after the pandemic reached Romania.

Orthodox Easter falls on May 2 this year, while Catholics and Protestants who are a tiny majority celebrate Easter on April 4.

Covid-19 cases have risen in recent weeks with some medics saying that Romania is now experiencing a third wave.  

Romania on Tuesday reported the highest number of patients in intensive care this year. Authorities added almost 5,000 cases, which is the highest single-day figure since January 6.

Bucharest is currently in the so-called “red scenario” after reporting  more than 3 cases per 1,000 people for the last fortnight. Restaurants are banned from serving customers inside, and theaters and cinemas have also been ordered to shut for the next fortnight.

Schools are partially open in the capital. The worst affected place is the western city of Timisoara which has more than 7 cases per 1,000. Authorities imposed a lockdown on Monday, closing schools and restaurants, while malls will shut at the weekend.

„We have restrictions such as a 11pm curfew,” the president said Tuesday.”But the curfew will probably be earlier, say at 10pm.”

Mr Iohannis warned that the recent number of cases was “worrying” and there was added pressure on Romania’s intensive care units.

There are currently 1,126 patients in intensive care, the highest since  December 31.

“We have to be careful we don’t drown just before we reach the shore,” he said.

Romania had vaccinated 1.2 million people by Tuesday.


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