President Klaus Iohannis announced on Friday that the state of alert in Romania will not be extended after March 8.
“The COVID-19 epidemic is on an accelerated downward trend, and the 5th wave is about to end. It is time, therefore, to make new decisions about managing these situations, decisions with a major impact for the future. Today, I convened an assessment meeting with all those responsible in the field, as a result of which we decided not to extend beyond March 8 the state of alert established in Romania,” the president declared at the Cotroceni presidential Palace, after the meeting on the management of the COVID-19 epidemic, which was attended by Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca and members of the Cabinet.
He said that with the lifting of the state of alert, a number of measures that have been in place so far will be eliminated, noting that the Ministry of Health will continue to manage the evolution of the epidemic.
The head of state stressed that two “very difficult” years have passed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which existence was changed “radically”.
“More than 63,000 Romanians have lost the battle with the disease, leaving behind a huge gap and countless grieving families. These figures express a lot of suffering, they are the reflection of tragedies that have left deep traces. The last two years have brought many challenges, which have influenced us in many different ways: the rapid spread of the virus, isolation, pressure on the health system, the closure of schools, the disruption of many sectors of the economy, the reduction of social interactions – all these have had a negative impact and has raised countless barriers for us,” said Klaus Iohannis, according to Agerpres.
The president mentioned that it was “a period of great sacrifices for Romanians”, but that, at the same time, “new values of solidarity, of civic spirit, of dedication and involvement” were discovered.
“We could not have waded through, though, without the concerted and sustained intervention of the authorities, who had to deal with a historic health crisis, despite acute shortcomings caused by the lack of systemic reforms in the areas we needed most. The fact that today we can talk today about a new stage, which means at least the end of this pandemic wave, is largely due to the effective preventive measures taken by the authorities. Obviously, we could not have succeeded without the responsibility of the citizens, without the solidarity of the Romanians, who, for the most part, understood and respected the rules. I thank them specifically for that! I would like to thank once again the doctors, nurses, orderlies, pharmacists and all those who have always been at the forefront of the fight against the virus and have shown their dedication and professionalism,” said Klaus Iohannis.
“The pandemic has also taught us lessons that we need to build on, and perhaps the most important one is solidarity: we have provided help to those in need and received support from European partners when facing major problems. European and international scientific collaboration has led to a deeper understanding of this new virus and has enabled, in record time, the discovery of vaccines and medicines that can prevent and treat this severe disease. Last but not least, we have learned to value our health, but also that of our loved ones, we have learned to protect ourselves, to prevent, to make responsible decisions and to respect them,” the head of state also mentioned.
“The last two years have shown us that we need to learn to live in this epidemiological context, to adapt and to take advantage of existing opportunities, to be able to provide the care and protection that the community needs. What I want to emphasize is that we continue to remain vigilant. The good habits of prevention, which we have acquired over the last two years, need to be maintained. Even though there are good signs that we have entered a downward phase, it is just as important that we continue to get vaccinated and protect ourselves, because we will most likely have to live with this virus. The pandemic has shown us that health should always be treated as a priority, both in terms of increasing investment and rethinking certain mechanisms so that the health care system is fair and able to respond effectively to extreme situations,” the president went on to say.