Romania’s president says that a two-month state of alert to fight the new coronavirus outbreak must be extended by another 30 days to fight a surge in the number of infections.
President Klaus Iohannis imposed a strict lockdown across the East European country in mid-March to limit the spread of the virus and replaced the „state of emergency” with a laxer „state of alert” on May 15.
Authorities gradually loosened restrictions after that, allowing malls, parks and outdoor restaurants to reopen. But in recent weeks, there has been a spike in cases.
Some people have refused to comply with mandatory face mask rules, while others have gone to big parties or taken part in large gatherings, which are still banned. Some people refuse to respect the rules because they believe the virus doesn’t exist.
After a meeting with the government, Iohannis said “the daily number of infections has exceeded 600. This is a lot … though we won’t introduce new restrictions, of course, we cannot talk about any sort of relaxation,” he said.
“Dear Romanians, I have three things to say to you: Protect yourselves, protect yourselves and protect others! Wearing a mask and keeping a distance (from others) are surefire ways of stopping the spread of this epidemic. Respect the rules!”
His proposal must be formally endorsed by the Liberal minority government which is likely.
The opposition Social Democrats which have a parliamentary majority have repeatedly accused the government of trying to create a new daily life made from „fines and restrictions”.
Romania has so far recorded 34,226 cases of Covid-19 infections and 1,952 deaths.
Some 641 new cases and 21 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.