Amid the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases in Europe, Romanian authorities take unprecedented drastic measures to prevent the spreading of the virus.
Acting Interior Minister Marcel Vela announced on Monday the suspension of flights to and from Italy until March 23.
According to him, the decision was taken within the National Committee for Special Emergency Situations.
“Is hereby approved the suspension of the flights carried out by the airline operators to Italy and from Italy to Romania for all airports in the country starting from March 9, 2020 at 12:00 (Romania time) until March 23 at 12:00 (Romania time)”, Vela told a press conference.
He also stated that the air operators have the obligation to communicate to the Romanian citizens who will embark from Italy, China, Iran, South Korea to Romania, with a stopover, that they will be quarantined on the Romanian territory and will assume this responsibility by completing a declaration on their own responsibility upon boarding the aircraft. Also, the airline operators will not allow the boarding of foreign nationals who come from Italy, China, Iran, South Korea to Romania with a stopover.
As to land border checkpoints, Romanian citizens coming from the four mentioned states will be informed that they are obliged to either be quarantined within the border county or to be isolated at home.
The Interior minister added that the access of foreign nationals coming from Italy, China, Iran, South Korea is also allowed through all border checkpoints, regardless of the means of transport used, but “under the mandatory quarantine measure”.
“Freight shipments of at least 3.5 tonnes are exempted from the restrictions imposed on banning access on the territory of Romania. The above provisions, adapted as the case may be, apply also for maritime or river transport,” added Marcel Vela, according to Agerpres.
All the mentioned measures are applied until March 31, with the possibility of extending the period.
Parliament discards events of over 1,000 participants throughout March 31
Under a joint decision of the standing bureaus of Parliament on Monday events that were to take place in Parliament between March 9 and 31, where participation was expected to exceed 1,000 people, are now banned.
The events where participation of a smaller number of people is estimated can be organised only after the approval of the Bucharest Public Health Directorate at the request of organisers, according to the internal memorandum approved by the standing bureaus.
Also banned are public visit of Parliament Palace until March 31, while the relevant persons will analyse presence of the guests at various events on the parliamentary agenda, so that the persons whose presence is absolutely necessary may attend.
The measure of suspending the Chamber of Deputies internship programme and other internship programmes with parliamentary groups, parliamentary committees was also taken.
Under the joint decision, the two Chambers’ contact with the public should be done only by telephone; post or electronic mail.
The measures provided for in the memorandum are valid until March 31, 2020, with the possibility of an extension, depending on the reports from the authorised bodies.
MEC decides to suspend county and regional school Olympiads, spots competitions
The Education and Research Ministry (MEC) has decided to suspend county and regional school Olympiads, as well as sports competitions until a date to be later announced.
Minister Monica Anisie has convened a video-conference on Monday with general school inspectors and with deputy general school inspectors to discuss the measures to prevent and combat the COVID-19 infection in the education units.
Moreover, the Minister underscored the importance of equipping schools with soap and disinfectant, and the school inspectors must ensure their existence, monitoring the situation.
According to the MEC, within the video-conference also discussed were the procedure and criteria for suspending the school courses in the educational units in the context of one/several case (s) of COVID-19 being confirmed.
Furthermore, the school inspectorates are constrained to monitor all cases of pupils and teaching staff who are isolated at home and report daily to the Education and Research Ministry.
Monica Anisie underscored the fact that the provision according to which hospitals internship is suspended is also implemented for pupils enrolled in post-secondary sanitary schools.
“The suspension of courses in the educational units is in the exclusive prerogative of the National Special Emergency Situations Committee,” the MEC announced.
Health status of COVID-19 virus carriers, overall good. 15 cases of coronavirus infection in Romania
The health status of 10 persons found as carrying the COVID-19 coronavirus in Romania and admitted at infectious disease hospitals in Bucharest, Timisoara, Cluj-Napoca, Constanta and Craiova is good overall, and the elderly patients and those with chronic diseases among them are closely monitored, reports the Strategic Communication Group (GCS).
As of Monday, 15 cases of COVID-19 infections were confirmed in Romania nationwide. Of the 15 citizens who contracted the virus, five were declared cured and discharged.
In Romania, there are 27 persons in institutional quarantine undergoing testing to detect if they have contracted the COVID-19 virus. A further 11,198 people are in isolation at home and are under medical monitoring, with the decrease from the last reporting being due to the exit from isolation of a significant number of people as a result of the 14 days having lapsed.
To date, 1,010 samples have been collected and analysed from persons who arrived in Romania from areas stricken by COVID-19 infection or persons who came into contact with patients confirmed with the virus. Of these, 995 came out negative, meaning that the people from whom the analysed samples were collected are not infected with the novel coronavirus.
“We want to inform you that so far 18 criminal files have been opened for the offence of hindering disease control criminalised under Article 352 (1) of the Criminal Code, in which 26 persons are investigated,” according to GCS, as quoted by Agerpres.
GCS mentions the decisions of the National Committee on Special Emergencies regarding the imposition of traffic restrictions to and from the countries hit by the COVID-19 infection that came into force on Monday at noon and stays on until March 31, with the possibility of further extension.