The Romanian government will pass a law establishing measures in the field of public health in instances of epidemiological and biological risks and will send it to Parliament for debate and final adoption in an emergency procedure, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said Monday, according to Agerpres.
“Today’s meeting has only one item on its agenda, namely the law establishing measures in the field of public health in instances of epidemiological and biological risks. I can tell you that there is a legal basis for all the measures we have taken. And I ask myself this question: where would we have been if we could not have taken these measures of home isolation and institutional quarantine? We had a huge exposure to people who came from countries with outbreaks, from countries with a very high epidemic level. Had we not had at our disposal this leverage of home isolation and the establishment of institutional quarantine, probably the number of cases in Romania would have been 10 times, 20 times, if not more numerous cases, 10, 20 times more cases. We have defended health, we have defended life, in spite of any measure and decision that was taken by the institutions,” Orban said on Monday at a government meeting.
The prime minister said that “any institution must behave responsibly in epidemic instances and must put first the health of Romanian citizens, the defence of the life and health of Romanians, and not play political games.”
He described the Constitutional Court’s ruling on quarantine and home isolation as “unprecedented in gravity.”
He also criticised the fact that since the beginning of the epidemic any action by the government and the authorities involved in the fight against COVID has been “boycotted, hampered” and “at times literally sabotaged by the attitude of political leaders, by decisions that have been taken against the will of the government and the attitude of some public institutions that behaved like avowed branches of the Social Democratic Party (PSD).”
He mentioned to the point the fact that the government cannot order the secondment of medical staff from one hospital to another.
Arafat: Quarantine of persons now has definition similar to International Health Regulations
The head of the Department for Emergency Situations, Raed Arafat, stated that the definition of quarantine, as it was provided in the draft law regarding the initiation of some health measures for special situations of epidemiological or biological risk approved on Monday by the Government, is similar to that in International Health Regulations and refers to healthy persons, which can be “exposed, can be in the incubation period” of the coronavirus.
“The draft law that has been worked on until this morning, so the Ministry of Justice, the Health Ministry, the Ministry of the Interior, we desired through it to approach the problem more generally, it’s not a problem only for COVID, it’s a draft law that can be applied also in other biological or epidemiological risk situations and we tried for the actions and terms introduced in that law to be as clear as possible. Thus, it starts with several definitions and here, a definition we must explain, namely the quarantine of persons, now has a definition that is similar to the International Health Regulations, it represents a measure to prevent the spread of infectious-contagious diseases, consisting of the physical separation of healthy persons suspected of being infected or carriers of a pathogen agent and other persons, in spaces specifically designated by the authorities, at home or in the location declared by the quarantined persons. Thus, the quarantine, from now on, will refer to persons who are healthy but could be exposed, could be in the incubation period and so forth,” said Raed Arafat, on Monday, at the end of the Government sitting.
HealthMin Tataru: Draft law for meeting the requirements of CCR regarding quarantine and isolation is now ready
Health Minister Nelu Tataru announced on Sunday evening that the draft law for meeting the requirements of the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) regarding the quarantine and isolation of persons diagnosed with COVID-19 was ready and it would be included on Monday’s Government meeting agenda.
“Since Friday, when the Constitutional Court released its motivation, we have been drawing up a draft law which is now ready. Tomorrow [Monday] we’ll have a Government meeting which agenda will also include it, as we want to meet the requirements of the Constitutional Court with this draft law. Once we have adapted, made official and voted in Parliament what a communicable disease is, what quarantine means, what isolation means, what hospitalised patient means, matters that will be defined, we shall go back to what it means identifying an outbreak, isolating an area, quarantining an area,” Tataru told Realitatea Plus private broadcaster.
On the other hand, the Health Minister mentioned that during the state of alert medical staff can no longer be dispatched from one hospital to another as easily as during the state of emergency.
“For us to be able to dispatch medical staff from one place to another, from one hospital to another… during the state of emergency we could do it, during the state of alert we need the staff and the employer’s acceptance. These dispatches have diminished and we had (…) to transfer patients from one place to another, from the ICUs which were overcrowded, to the ICUs of the hospitals that had beds available. During the state of emergency we would dispatch staff to that particular place. This could no longer be done,” said Tataru.