Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said on Thursday that, according to up-to-date data, the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Romania seems to have been stopped by the measures taken by the authorities, after initial fears – in the three weeks before the enforcement of the new Law on Isolation and Quarantine – of a geometric progression of infections.
Orban was asked if the government is considering more restrictive measures, given that the number of COVID-19 infections remains high, with 1,345 new cases on Thursday.
“Compared to 1,356 last Thursday, that’s what I wanted to tell you. According to data, we seem to have stopped the rise. The biggest risk was that at some point, growth would no longer be linear, but would have a trend in geometric progression, due to the fact that – I remind you – for a period of three weeks we had no legal leverage to take any action related to people who tested positive and people who came in contact with positive, diagnosed people,” Orban stressed.
According to the prime minister, there were tens of thousands of Romanians on whom the authorities, during that period, did not have the legal leverage to institute any measures.
“Look: at present, we have almost 30,000 Romanians who are either in isolation or quarantined, being infected and the doctor has agreed for them to be treated at home, or who are contacts of infected people. Think about it: if the law had not been passed, these 30,000 people in isolation or in quarantine would have traveled without any restriction in society and could have infected others. This is what happened for three weeks,” added Ludovic Orban.
Prime Minister Ludovic Orban and several members of the Cabinet were in the Jiu Valley on Thursday where they took part in the events dedicated to the Miner’s Day and the inauguration of the Mining Museum in Petrosani, rehabilitated based on a project with European funding worth one million euros.
Procedures related to organization of new school year start to be completed no later than 10 days
The procedures related to the organization of the beginning of the new school year will be completed no later than in 10 days and will be part of a series of normative acts, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban declared on Thursday.
“All these procedures will be in place soon, in 10 days maximum, they will be part of regulatory acts, training will be conducted with inspectors, training with school principals. We are also pursuing programs to increase the on-line knowledge dissemination skills, for teachers so as to increase the performance in the organization of online lessons.We have guidelines that we are following, they will be prepared, they will know what they have to do. The procedure will be probably designed at the proposal of the school with the counsel of the Public Health Directorate and the School Inspectorate. The decisions, other than the effective decision to open the school normally, will be taken by the county committees for emergency situations,” said Ludovic Orban.
He explained that the government’s decision is not to impose the same measure at national level, but to treat the start of schools differently, depending on the epidemiological context in each community.
“Certainly, they will have the precise data, say, two weeks, one week before the start of school, based on the epidemiological data we have up to date and on the public information released by the National Institute of Public Health. On the other hand, they will know that not all children might go to school, where there is a relatively high level of the spread of the virus, and that there will be the possibility of education, say, in-between, that is half in the classroom, half online, switching successively (…) It is certain that each school will have to have a platform for organizing online lessons. This is mandatory,” said Orban, when asked when will the parents know what scenario each school falls into.
The prime minister also explained that the central authorities will do everything in their power to ensure access to the Internet for the approximately 18% of schools that do not currently have this possibility.
“We are trying with the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications, with the private mobile telephony service providers, with the big companies in the online field, to find access solutions. Also, our goal is to complete the tender on tablets, so that every child be able to have access, through internet-connected tablets, to the courses that are carried out, in the event that classes are carried out completely online or only half in class, half online. Our goal is certainly to reduce the spread of the virus and for children to start school in classes in as many localities as possible,” said the head of the Government.
Orban, about fight against underworld clans: “No mercy!”
Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said on Thursday in Petrosani that a continuous and “merciless” battle must be fought against underworld clans that break the law, noting that any criminal activity must be sanctioned by the law enforcement officers.
“A constant fight against these law-breaking clans. I have conveyed my message very clearly: ‘No mercy!’ Any illegality, any criminal activity must be sanctioned,” Ludovic Orban said.
He pointed out that wherever a Police chief is found not doing his job, he should be removed from office.
“If necessary, the numbers must be supplemented, if a chief of Police or a station chief or a department head does not do his job and in his section it is obvious that such illegal activities are being conducted, he must be removed without any hesitation and severe measures must be taken to combat these clans,” the PM added, according to Agerpres.