A meeting of the Supreme Council for National Defence (CSAT) has convened on Wednesday at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace to tackle the novel coronavirus.
The CSAT meeting, chaired by President Klaus Iohannis, was attended by acting Prime Minister Ludovic Orban; acting Defence Minister Nicolae Ciuca; acting Interior Minister Marcel Vela; acting Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu; acting Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu; acting Trade Minister Virgil Popescu; acting Finance Minister Florin Citu; head of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) Eduard Hellvig; Chief of the Defence Staff Daniel Petrescu; presidential adviser Ion Oprisor, and CSAT Secretary Mihai Somordolea.
Also present was Health Minister Victor Costache and presidential adviser on public health Loreta Paun, while head of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) was represented by his deputy.
President Klaus Iohannis announced Monday having decided to convene the CSAT for information on measures in cases of infection with the novel coronavirus and the strategy to combat a potential national epidemics.
“There no case of the novel coronavirus registered in Romania so far, but we will have to be prepared if things evolve negatively,” said Iohannis.
He added that the Romanian authorities have taken the necessary measures to prevent contamination with this virus, but must insist on the measures of effective communication and appropriate information of the population.
President Iohannis: No confirmed case of infection in Romania so far
President Klaus Iohannis said on Wednesday that there has been no confirmed novel coronavirus case in Romania so far, indicating that it has been decided to supplement the control measures at the border crossing points in addition to the measures already taken.
“As I speak, there is no confirmed case of infection with the virus in Romania. A few minutes ago we received the results from Gorj, which are negative, so there is no person confirmed with coronavirus in Romania. But, the level of mobilisation must remain high, because we are facing a global medical emergency. The Supreme Council for National Defence (CSAT) analysis has found that the relevant organisations have taken timely measures to prevent contamination,” Iohannis said after a CSAT meeting.
He mentioned some decisions made by the CSAT meeting, including additional control measures.
“We decided, in addition to the measures already established, to supplement the control measures, to identify potential patients with respiratory diseases and to prevent infection with the novel coronavirus at the land, sea, river and air border crossing points,” said Iohannis.
He specified that the Health Ministry will provide the necessary medical personnel at these border crossing points, with specialists from the public health directorates, including by reposting from other counties and healthcare facilities.
Iohannis pointed out that in the event of coronavirus cases being confirmed on Romania’s soil the protection of the medical personnel that gets into contact with the infected persons is essential, and the authorities must provide the medical personnel with all the necessary equipment, including the protective equipment.
He indicated that the CSAT meeting made a decision to allocate financial resources for the purchase of individual protective equipment, negative pressure isolation chambers, vacuum assisted closure devices for stretcher transportation, and medicines, by the Government.
“According to the developments so far in the affected countries, people who may develop complications after contracting the coronavirus are mainly the elderly. As such, special attention should be paid to protecting this more vulnerable category,” said Iohannis.
He added that the officials should intensify their communication efforts regarding the coronavirus and announced that a telephone line managed by the Ministry of Health will be implemented as soon as possible for callers requesting information about the novel virus.
President Iohannis indicated that he asked all CSAT decision-makers to “remain at the highest level of involvement and vigilance.”
“It is essential to deal with the danger that we face with maximum responsibility, but also with calm. Continued efforts are needed to ensure preventive measures and but also those that are required for the management of possible cases of infection in Romania, both from the central administration, as well as from the specialist organisations at county and local level,” said Iohannis.
He emphasised the need for effective communication among all the players involved in combating coronavirus infection, centrally and locally, permanently informing the public health directorates, family doctors and managers of public and private hospitals.
“There is a need for a common and uniform effort and a rigorous and unwavering application (…) of preventive measures in order to ensure the best protection for the citizens.”
Iohannis voiced confidence that all the state players involved, and especially the Romanian medical system, are capable of managing this situation, both on the preventive side and on the treatment side when cases of infection arise.