President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday announced that a meeting will be held on Wednesday with all government officials involved in managing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to establish clear-cut restrictions.
“I have decided to call a meeting tomorrow with all the government officials involved in pandemic management to establish clear-cut restrictions, the only ones that can contain the spread of infections at this time,” Iohannis told a news briefing at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.
On Tuesday, Romania reported record numbers of COVID-19 cases and also of deaths in people infected with SARS-CoV-2.
“18,863 – is not a simple number, there are 18,863 hearts of Romanians who today beat with fear of the unknown, fear that they are sick with COVID-19, each of them with their families and loved ones, who may themselves be ill as well. 574 is not just a number: there are 574 hearts of Romanians who stopped beating because they lost the fight with this deadly virus. People who, just a few weeks ago were enjoying life, dreaming and making plans for the future, now they leave behind the tears and despair of those who mourn their deaths. Mothers and fathers permanently separated from their children who will never be comforted by the loss of their parents; people who lose their loved ones without saying goodbye, people who are now burying with their loved ones a part of their soul. 1,805 is not a simple number, there are 1,805 Romanians fighting each second for every breath, for every breath of fresh air. All the 18,863 new cases of COVID-19, 574 deaths, 1,805 cases in intensive care units are the reports for today only. In reality, millions of Romanians are affected; their lives have often changed irreversibly by the effects of this pandemic. Crowded hospitals, intensive care units that can no longer cope, exhausted doctors,” said Iohannis.
He added that the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be much more aggressive even than the most pessimistic expectations and forecasts.
According to the chief of state, the preparation for the fourth wave of the pandemic, against the background of a COVID-19 mass vaccination campaign that moved “much too slowly,” was “deficient,” for multiple reasons.
“(…) What matters now is to overcome this great ordeal. The lack of concrete action on the part of the officials is alarming, and today’s figures unfortunately confirm that what should have been done has not been done. (…) This is a time of suffering, a national drama of vast proportions. Yet, we have no other choice but to overcome it,” the President said.
In his opinion, the utmost priority is to save people’s lives, to protect the health of the vulnerable and the sick, whose healthcare can help overcome this disease well.
“Any other issues take a back seat, nothing is above life and we have to do everything humanly possible, even at the eleventh hour, to protect it,” Iohannis said.
He pointed out that the healthcare workers are waging a battle for life, adding that even highly-performing healthcare systems in countries with developed healthcare infrastructure cannot cope with such a large number of cases, which is why foreign aid has been requested.
“We are grateful to all the countries that support us,” said Iohannis.
We need urgent measures to stop aggressive pandemic wave, no matter how unpopular
President Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday that vaccination against COVID is the only solution to stop the “very aggressive” pandemic wave of COVID-19, highlighting the need for the urgent adoption by Parliament of the provisions on the green certificate or other measures leading to a “short-term reduction in human mobility and interaction.”
“Vaccination is the only solution we see working in all states where the pandemic has been significantly reduced by overwhelmingly vaccinating the population. It is, at the same time, the ultimate argument against all those who, deliberately or ignorantly contesting the vaccine, are indirectly responsible and guilty of the suffering of their peers, whom they are, apparently, trying to save from imaginary side effects,” said Iohannis, at the Cotroceni Palace.
He added that COVID vaccines are “safe” and “effective,” “just as the severe forms and deaths caused by this disease are real and dramatic.”
The head of state underscored that urgent measures are now needed to stop the intense community transmission.
“Conspiracies and fake news theories do great harm to those encouraged to reject the very solution that could save their lives. At the same time, to stop this very aggressive pandemic wave, urgent measures are needed to stop the speedy community transmission and we need them now. Regardless if we talk about the green certificate to be urgently adopted by Parliament or other measures capable of reducing human mobility and interaction in the short term, we must not waste any more time in adopting and implementing them, no matter how unpopular they may seem. Any day lost or hesitant can have dramatic effects on all of us, as a society,” the President explained.
He called on Romanians to get vaccinated and protect themselves, telling them not to lose hope.
“I know it is very difficult, but do not lose hope! The history of our hard-fought nation is a testimony that, when we were in solidarity, we overcame the most terrible trials. We can do it even now. Get vaccinated, wear a mask, avoid crowds, keep the social distance as long as possible! We are in the last minute, we need to protect and save the lives of those close to us!,” Iohannis also said, according to Agerpres.