The government is carefully preparing for the re-opening of the school year, so as to avoid the risk of illness for both students and teachers, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said on Thursday.
He added that the government had decided to earmark 175 million euros to reimburse costs with remote instruction and protective materials.
“We have earmarked a total of 175 million euros. We are reimbursing local administrations and schools for costs incurred by the purchase of tablets, laptops, webcams, smart tablets, personal protective equipment – we are reimbursing from an allocation of 175 million euros. I consider it a bit important to decentralise, because centralised procurement is challenged and when procedural terms are challenged, they are very long to settle and that delays us,” Orban told Realitatea Plus private broadcaster.
The prime minister specified that he had a discussion on Thursday with the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) and executives of landline and mobile telephony companies in order to identify ways to extend the coverage of the networks.
“Let’s cover as many schools that are not currently there, and not only schools, but also settlements. (…) We are carefully preparing to open schools. We are trying to do everything possible in times of pandemic in order to minimise the risk of children and teachers getting sick,” added Orban.
Joint order regarding the health protection rules for the local elections to be approved next week
Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said that the joint order of the Health Ministry, the Ministry of the Interior and the Permanent Electoral Authority regarding the health protection rules that will be applied during the election campaign and the ballot in September’s local elections will be approved early next week.
“My second meeting was with the Minister of the Interior, the Health Minister, representatives of the Permanent Electoral Authority and the National Public Health Institute for very clearly defining the health protection rules applicable during the election campaign and also during voting on election day. We discussed in detail the aspects related to the rules to be imposed during the election campaign, the rules for the establishment of the electoral bureaus of the polling stations, the functioning of the polling stations’ electoral bureaus, the organization of the vote so as to ensure the required physical distancing,” Orban said on Thursday upon leaving the premises of the Ministry of the Interior.
He added that the talks also focused on details related to the rules that need to be set in place to ensure the right to vote “for the Romanian citizens who cannot go out because they are either immobilized at home due to a medical condition or are infected with coronavirus and are treated at home, or are in home isolation” and cannot go to the polls.
“The joint draft of the Health Ministry, the Ministry of the Interior and the Permanent Electoral Authority will be finalized until tomorrow evening. I will send it for consultation to the leaders of the other political parties and at the beginning of next week we will adopt it as a joint order,” the Prime Minister said, according to Agerpres.