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March 7, 2021
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Parliament: Vote will not be cast yet on Government decision to extend state of alert

The leadership of the Legislature has decided, instead, to send a letter to Prime Minister Ludovic Orban to draw his attention that this decision must be voted by Parliament, and the extension of the state of alert must be approved by the parliamentarians and not only sent for information.

The Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Marcel Ciolacu, and the interim President of the Senate, Robert Cazanciuc also demand in the letter sent to PM Orban  to send to Parliament the request to permit the measure of prolonging the state of alert, on the basis of risk factor analysis.

“Esteemed Mr. Prime Minister, given address no. 5/3.207 of 16.06.2020 by which you convey, for information purposes, the Government Decision No. 476 / 16.06.2020 regarding the prolongation of the state of alert on the territory of Romania and the measures that apply during it, for the prevention and combating of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, in agreement with the provisions of art. 4 of Law no. 55/2020 regarding some measures for the prevention and combating of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we request you complete the procedure (…) by sending to Parliament the request to permit the measure of extending the state of alert on the basis of risk factor analysis, document mentioned in art. 3 of Law no. 55/2020,” shows the document signed by the leaders of the two chambers of Parliament.

Lawmakers are also urging the prime minister to “read the law again.”

The Government sent to Parliament on Tuesday the decision regarding the extension of the state of alert. In the address, the Government writes that it was sent for “information”, Agerpres informs.

 

PNL’s Senator Gorghiu: No steps by Parliament are necessary to extend state of alert

 

The Liberal senator Alina Gorghiu says no action by Parliament is necessary to extend the state of alert, the current situation being “clear”.

“Thursday’s joint plenary sitting will not include a point on the extension of the state of alert. The PSD [Social Democratic Party, opposition, ed. n.] has amended the law and introduced a text, in my view unconstitutionally, namely that Parliament approves the state of alert, but on the extension of the alert state there is no express provision provided by law. As such, it correctly made the address, and that is to say, it informed us of the Government’s decision on the extension of the state of alert, which was also published in the Official Journal. The position of the PNL [ruling National Liberal Party, ed. n.] is that no steps by Parliament are needed to extend the state of alert,” Alina Gorghiu told AGERPRES on Wednesday.

She stated that, at the meeting of the Standing Bureaus of Parliament, the PSD decided, through the two presidents of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, to send a letter to the Prime Minister, “to conduct an interinstitutional correspondence”, asking the gov’t for clarification on the situation in which HG (Government Decision, ed. n.) may or may not be approved by the plenary sitting.

“So far, from our point of view, we have a very clear situation – prolonged state of alert through HG, published in the Official Journal. There are no restrictions on rights and freedom from the previous situation, so Parliament has no need to intervene at this time,” Gorghiu added.

 

PSD’s Ciolacu: We are trying to make 15-day state of alert be intermediate state

 

The Acting Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Marcel Ciolacu, announced on Tuesday evening on private television broadcaster Antena3 that the Social Democrats will analyze the possibility of amending the Government Decision on extending the alert state so that there is no issue of constitutionality, specifying that PSD would like the next 15 days to constitute an “intermediate state”.

The PSD leader criticized the fact that he officially received the Government Decision regarding the alert status on Tuesday night.

“What is happening is offensive. On the way here I received from the General Secretariat the form of the GD. So a few hours after the expiration of the state of alert, the honorable Government considered that this is the way of dialogue between the Government and the Romanian Parliament. It will definitely be published in the Official Gazette until 12 at night, no problems, people are at work. I will never understand why Ludovic Orban wants this approach to such an important thing. Such a GD to extend the state of alert changes our way of life and he considers that this is the correct approach to have with the Romanians and with Parliament,” said Ciolacu.

He expressed satisfaction that the opening of places of worship is to be found in the GD and that the Government no longer requests direct acquisitions and stressed that Secretary of State Raed Arafat is the only one in the Government who has communicated with political leaders during this period.

Finally, PSD wants to open hospitals for the chronically ill, Ciolacu added.

“We want very clearly stipulated in the GD that hospitals open for chronic diseases. We saw the stuttering of the prime minister that doctors are to blame for not treating patients with chronic diseases. (…) We hope that after the risk analysis we will have a new discussion with Mr. Arafat and to begin to understand why they keep Covid support hospitals without patients, so that the communities where these hospitals are do not have access to the medical act, have to travel tens of kilometers to the county seat hospital,” said Ciolacu, as quoted by Agerpres.

 

Head of Emergency Management Department Arafat: 30-day extension of the state of alert comes after thorough analysis

 

Head of the Emergency Management Department Raed Arafat said on Tuesday that the government’s approval of a 30-day extension to the state of alert from June 17 was decided following a “thorough” analysis of the current COVID-19 pandemic situation.

“After a thorough analysis of the current situation, despite the fact that we are on a downward curve, however, there are signs that the situation may at any time deteriorate and we may at least have serious outbreaks or have a worse situation going forward, if we fail to live by the compensatory measures already mentioned, wearing face masks, keeping physical distance, triaging upon entering enclosed spaces, wearing face masks on public transport, all of which are extremely necessary in order to keep control of the situation at this time and keep us on a downward curve,” Arafat said at the end of a government meeting.

He pointed out that there have lately been increases that exceeded 300 new COVID-19 cases over 24 hours and a percentage of positive tests that reached 5% of the total performed.

“The analysis that was done together with the INSP and with colleagues from the National Center for Coordination and Management of Intervention and together with other specialists showed that single management and command, as well as rapid action will be needed in the future as well. There is an increase from two weeks ago, a few days ago, in the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care, there are outbreaks that have occurred in health facilities that require staff secondment, moving staff to meet the demand of the health facilities where the staff is in isolation or even ill and hospitalised. These are some of the reasons why the proposal to extend the state of alert was chosen,” Arafat explained.

According to him, the mandate to conduct epidemiological triage at the entrance to public organisations and enclosed spaces and to wear masks on public transport is kept in place.

He also announced that more border points will open.

“The decision was taken regarding [the border points] Negru Voda, Constanta County; Turnu Magurele, Teleorman County; Sighetul Marmatiei, Maramures County, Radauti-Prut, Botosani County; Oancea, Galati County, as well as Jimbolia railway, Timis County except for freight transport. So they are to be re-opened at this time and become operational,” Arafat said.

Regarding air travel, he specified that the National Institute of Public Health (INSP), with the approval of CNSU, will periodically issue the list of countries toward which flights will be resumed or possibly stopped if the situation in a country deteriorates for 14 days.

 

HealthMin Tataru: After we recorded 166 new cases yesterday we decided to extend the state of alert by other 30 days

 

The Government on Tuesday decided to extend the state of alert by other 30 days, Health Minister Nelu Tataru made the announcement.

“After we recorded 166 new cases yesterday, today we had 250 new cases, 10 deaths from yesterday until today and more than 4,500 active cases, in which context we decided to extend the state of alert by other 30 days,” Tataru told a press conference at the Victoria Palace.

He added that a third package of relaxation measures is to come.

“At the same meeting today, after the National Committee for Emergency Situations’ Decision, we decided to relax certain activities,” said Tataru.

The Minister of Health mentioned that kindergartens, nurseries and afterschools will resume activities during the summer after a set of measures and norms will be implemented to ensure the social distancing and health protection.

The Government also decided the resumption of activity by the gyms.

Tataru said the malls too must receive “certain attention.”

“And by malls I mean the commercial spaces and not the cinema halls or the food courts or playgrounds. These are common areas, with a certain specificity, which require our attention. I also need to say this that we took and we are going to take certain relaxation measures to the extent in which we can accompany them by preventive measures, with the possibility to intervene in case of unfavourable developments,” explained the Minister.

He mentioned that the resumption of the religious services inside the churches will be done by observing social distancing and wearing protective masks.

According to him, in case of the physical activity in the open air the same hygiene conditions and social distancing must be observed.

“Any private event that takes place inside must not exceed 20 persons and the private events in the open air must not exceed 50 persons,” he said.

Tataru also added that the next package of relaxation measures could be adopted after July 1.

 

 

 

 

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