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December 4, 2022

Romanian Gov’t extends the state of alert by 30 days: PM Orban asks Health Ministry to increase the coronavirus testing capacity

Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said on Wednesday that the government’s decision to extend the state of alert is on the agenda of the Executive meeting and that in localities where the incidence of 3 COVID-19 cases per one thousand residents is exceeded, wearing a face mask will be mandatory in all open spaces.

“The agenda will include as an important point of the government meeting the government decision on the extension of the state of alert. Yesterday we had the meeting of the National Committee for Emergency Situations, where we decided to propose to the Government the extension of the state of alert by another 30 days and to complete the government decision and the three annexes of the government decision on the state of alert with a few additional measures, which were already presented after the meeting of the National Committee for Emergency Situations that took place yesterday. Mainly, wearing face masks becomes mandatory in certain categories of crowded spaces, such as bus stations, platforms, markets, fairs, stockyards, where there is no possibility to ensure the health protection physical distance, for an incidence between 1.5 per thousand and 3 per thousand. Upon the proposal of National Committee for Emergency Situations, in the localities where the index of 3 per thousand is exceeded, wearing a face mask in all open spaces, not only in crowded spaces becomes mandatory,” the prime minister specified at the beginning of the government meeting.

Ludovic Orban asked the Health Ministry to increase the coronavirus testing capacity and the response capacity of the Public Health Directorates, calling also again for family doctors to be involved in the assessment of the persons who do not need inpatient care.

“It is my understanding that you already had discussions with representatives of family doctors with regard to epidemiological inquiries. We are waiting to see some results, because we need family doctors to get involved at various stages of the process. We must not get at the point where the health assessment capacity is blocked. Symptomless Covid positives, those who do not obviously need a health assessment don’t necessarily have to go to the hospital, the family doctor or a doctor from the Public Health Directorate can do this. We cannot crowd hospitals with people who don’t need these services, while letting people who may need hospital care to wait,” Orban said at the beginning of the government meeting.

He also spoke about creating intermediary areas for patients who need mechanical ventilation, but do not need intensive care.

“Obviously, we need to increase the treatment capacity in intensive care units and more seriously put to work those intermediary areas. The number of patients who are treated in intensive care units is higher than that of mechanically ventilated patients. An assessment is needed and especially we must set in place these intermediary areas that must be designed so that no one in need for mechanical ventilation is left out,” Orban said.

The Prime Minister also mentioned the possibility of partnerships with private companies in order to increase the testing capacity, as well as the Public Health Directorates’ response capacity.

“We are further pursuing a clear objective: to increase the testing capacity, and we have discussed the necessary measures. Let there be no obstruction, at exudate collecting either. Careful here, the regulation needs to be fine-tuned for the 112 emergency line not to be overwhelmed by people who are not real emergencies and thus reduce the response capacity of the ambulance service. Here we will have to find a solution to reduce non-emergency calls to 112, by increasing the responsiveness of Public Health Directorates. Where needed, enter partnerships with private companies that specialize in such activities, including call centers, to increase responsiveness. Digitization is again very important so that we can streamline all the processes,” Orban said, according to Agerpres.

INSP: Updated list of yellow zone countries; 32 states for which self-quarantine is imposed

The list of countries in the yellow zone, for which self-quarantine is mandatory for 14 days following arrival from their territory to Romania was updated, now containing 32 states and territories.

On October 6, the list had 49 countries with high epidemiological risk.

The measure of quarantine remains in force for people coming from countries such as Spain, Israel, the Czech Republic, France, Belgium, the USA, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom or the Republic of Moldova.

The new list enters into force on Thursday, at midnight.

According to the list published on the website of the National Institute of Public Health and approved on Tuesday by the National Committee for Emergency Situations, self-quarantine will be imposed for 14 days in the case of the following countries and territories:

* Andorra

* Israel

* Montenegro

* The Czech Republic

* French Polynesia

* Guam

* Argentina

* Belgium

* Bahrain

* The Netherlands

* Bahamas

* Aruba

* Gibraltar

* Spain

* Costa Rica

* France

* The Republic of Moldova

* United Kingdom

* Iceland

* Puerto Rico

* Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba

* Armenia

* Lebanon

* Cape Verde

* Panama

* Slovakia

* The United States of America

* Colombia

* Kuweit

* Brazil

* Malta

* Oman

The measure allows the exception of persons who arrive in Romania from the high epidemiological risk countries/territories if they remain on the national territory for less than 3 days (72 hours) and present a negative SARS-CoV-2 test, done within 48 hours before their entry into the national territory.

The persons that arrive in Romania from countries/territories and enter quarantine for a period of 14 days may cease their quarantine on the tenth day, if they submit a negative test result for SARS-CoV-2 with the sample taken on the eighth day of quarantine, and if they do not show specific symptoms.

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