President Klaus Iohannis has announced on Monday that “the state of emergency needs to be extended.”
In this regard, the head of state said that the text of the decree will be drawn up this week, and next week, he will decree a state of emergency for another month.
“Drawing the line and adding up, we have come to the conclusion that the state of emergency needs to be extended. This way, we have asked the Government to come up with proposals to be included in this decree. This week, we will draw up the text of the decree and, in the beginning of next week, I will issue a new decree to extend the state of emergency for another month,” the head of state said.
He added that “this period is absolutely necessary in order to keep the development of the epidemic under control.”
President Iohannis had a meeting to evaluate the measures for managing the COVID-19 epidemic with Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, Finance Minister Florin Citu, Interior Minister Marcel Vela, Defence Minister Nicolae Ciuca, Economy Minister Virgil Popa, Health Minister Nelu Tataru, Minister of Labour and Social Protection Violeta Alexandru, Minister of Justice Catalin Predoiu, and head of the Emergency Department Raed Arafat.
Epidemic has not peaked up in Romania, no reason to ease up
President Klaus Iohannis warned on Monday that the COVID-19 epidemic has not peaked up in Romania yet, and that the country should not ease up on the measures taken so far, despite the number of cases being lower than in other countries.
“It is clear: the epidemic has not peaked up. There is no way that we should ease up,” Iohannis told a news conference at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace on Monday.
“A first conclusion would be that, when compared with other countries, the increase in the number of people affected by the epidemic was not as high as I have noticed for example in countries where we have many Romanians. I mean in Italy, in Spain. And that is obviously the result of the fact that we took very firm measures very early on, but I have to warn you very clearly: there is no way that we should ease up. This is in no way the time to disregard the instructions of the authorities. All experts, all doctors tell us that the development of the epidemic still depends on how we follow the instructions of the authorities. If we follow the instructions, we avoid contact and so on, we may not have a very high increase. If we violate them, we might reach the scenarios as we have unfortunately seen in the countries I mentioned. It is clear: the epidemic has not peaked up. There is no way that we should ease up,” Iohannis told a news conference at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace on Monday.
The president resumed his urge to Romanians to comply with the measures ordered by the authorities. “Follow the isolation order. Avoid meetings and only leave home when you have a problem to solve, when you go to work, or when you go to buy food. Avoid any physical contact with everyone. That is very important. The disease spreads among humans. Do not shake hands, do not hug, stay away from other people,” Iohannis said.
Romania will send a team of doctors and nurses to Italy
The head of state announced that Romania will send to Italy, in the Milan area, a team of 11 doctors and six nurses,.
“I have decided (…) that Romania will send a team of doctors and nurses to Italy. They will go there to the Milan area. They will leave tomorrow [Tuesday] at the latest. A team of 11 doctors and six nurses,” said Iohannis, at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
It will be difficult to figure out budget; Gov’t needs to make comprehensive analysis
He also stated that the Government will have to make a “comprehensive analysis” and reassess all expenditures and revenues, in the context in which the situation with the state budget is “complicated.”
“The situation is pretty serious and I need to say at least a few things. This epidemic has generated a crisis that is not affecting, unfortunately, only the healthcare system, it’s not just a public health crisis, but it affects the entire economy and it’s going to affect the budget. We will be forced, most probably, to increase the budget deficit significantly. On the other hand, we need to invest even more money in the public health sector, we need more money to pay for social security, furlough, unemployment, all these things must be covered. But we are going to have a complicated situation with the budget, that is for sure, as sure as the fact that the situation won’t solve by itself, but the Government will have to make a comprehensive analysis, instead of just conducting a budget rectification, which budget will be affected by a number of changes in the following days. The Government will have to reassess the falling revenues and the growing expenditures for the entire fiscal year, for we need to reassess all expenditures that require public money,” the head of the state said at the Cotroceni Palace.
On the other hand, Iohannis congratulated the private companies who got involved in bringing masks and protective materials to Romania.