Experts do not think the December general election should be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Klaus Iohannis said at a news conference on Tuesday.
He mentioned to the point the ongoing US presidential election.
“At the moment we are not considering the postponement of the election and the experts do not think postponing it is necessary. We can see what is happening in the world. Even today, as I’ve said, elections are taking place in the United States of America, a country that unfortunately is much harder hit by the pandemic than Romania,” said Iohannis.
He added that the developments in the ongoing pandemic should be seen as a whole.
“We cannot relate to a certain number, but we must see the whole development and take those measures that allow us to control the spread of the pandemic and then surely the election will be possible,” Iohannis said.
Speaking about the conduct of the electoral process, Iohannis pointed to the local elections at the end of September.
“Regarding the actual voting, that is election day, there are no complications. We practiced these things during the local elections. The polling stations were very well organised, the health measures were very well thought out and put into practice,” he said.
He went on to say that given the current circumstances, electioneering will be different from other years. “It is obvious that, where the incidence is high, electioneering will take place in the mass media and online. There will be no other possibility,” the president said, according to Agerpres.
We expect first tranche of vaccine to reach us in the 1st quarter of next year
President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday said that Romania expects to receive the first tranche of the COVID-19 vaccine in the first quarter of next year, with the first beneficiaries to be the medical staff and people from the risk groups, and the vaccination of the entire population will start in the spring at the earliest.
“The epidemiological situation in all European countries is deteriorating rapidly, and the population is exposed to a major risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2. Romania is also facing worrying figures and the authorities are constantly adjusting with new measures to control the spreading of the virus. In this context, we all have high hopes for the development as soon as possible of a safe and effective anti-COVID-19 vaccine, and efforts at the international level confirm everyone’s desire to have this vaccine. Romania is part of the agreements concluded by the European Commission for the supply of anti-COVID-19 vaccines, when they will be available, following that our country will have an allocation of over 10 million doses of vaccine. With the high demand worldwide and the relatively small production capacity, the vaccine will reach the European countries in stages. In Romania, we expect to receive the first tranche in the first quarter of next year,” the head of state told a news conference held at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
He said the first to be vaccinated would be the medical staff and the people posing a higher risk if infected.
“Vaccination of the entire population will begin the next spring, at the earliest. We also want to make sure that the vaccines will have the highest level of efficiency and safety and that all international regulations are observed,” Iohannis said.
The head of state underscored that, based on the agreements made in the EU, all European states will receive the vaccine tranches at the same time.
He pointed out that the population needs to be properly informed about the vaccine.
The President also indicated that he had asked the Minister of Health to identify the human resources needed for each stage of vaccination and to establish a plan to secure the stocks of materials that would be needed.
He also underscored that it is imperative all protection and prevention measures be observed – wearing a mask, hand hygiene, keeping physical distance, avoiding congestion, working remotely, where possible.
“These are things that are in our power and, at the moment, the only methods that can contribute decisively to the control of the pandemic,” Iohannis said, according to Agerpres.
Earlier on Tuesday, president Klaus Iohannis participated in a meeting where they evaluated and presented the measures regarding the management of the COVID-19 epidemic with the Minister of Health, Nelu Tataru, the head of the Department for Emergency Situations, Raed Arafat, the Secretary of State with the Ministry of Health General Ion Ionel, PhD, Romania’s representative at the World Health Organization, Alexandru Rafila. The meeting was also attended by physician Andreea Moldovan – Medical Director with the Clinical Hospital for Infectious Diseases Brasov and physician Gindrovel Dumitra – physician, family medicine, Vice President of the National Society of Family Medicine, coordinator of the vaccinology group within SNMF.