Romanians are filling the slots to get their Covid-19 shots.
More than 300,000 Romanians have signed up to get the coronavirus vaccine in the first two days of the vaccination program entering the second phase, authorities said Monday.
The second phase is for people over 65, those with certain chronic diseases and key public workers.
The Special Telecommunications Service said that from Friday until mid-afternoon Monday 300,190 had requested to be inoculated in the next three weeks. Of those, about 159,300 were over 65, some 68,150 were people with chronic diseases and 72,600 were essential workers.
The platform went down on Monday morning due to technical problems, but the problem was fixed and was up and running later.
President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Florin Citu were among the first to be inoculated after the second stage started.
The president appealed to Romanians to get the shot which he called „safe and effective.”
„Vaccination and compliance with the restriction measures will help us stop the pandemic,” he added.
Some 190,000 people registered online for the shot on the first day, of which 50,000 alone were in Bucharest which has seen far more cases than other areas.
Coroanvirus cases have fallen in recent weeks after new restrictions were introduced, although the number of gravely ill patients who are intensive care units has consistently remained above 1,000.
The Strategic Communication Group said there were 1,509 new cases on Monday, although there were only about 9,000 tests carried out, giving a positivity rate of just under 17%. Some 50 patients with Covid-19 succumbed to the virus from Sunday to Monday lunchtime.
Romanian authorities say they can inoculate a maximum of about 365,000 from January 18 to February 6.
Even on the first day, Bucharest had reached its capacity for the next three weeks.
Romania’s Covid czar Valeriu Gheorghita said authorities may try to expand the capacity to accommodate the large numbers.
The prime minister has promised that three-fourths of the over 65s will get their first shot in the coming weeks.
More than half of the people who registered online to get the vaccine are retirees.
The education ministry has told schools to make sure teachers and other staff are vaccinated before schools reopen on February 8.