Romania has posted its highest ever number of new coronavirus infections, at 2,958, with the government announcing new restrictive measures and encouraging Romanians to snoop on their fellow citizens if they violate restrictions.
“Two months ago, at the end of the holidays, we, the epidemiologists, said that we should wear a mask in open and very crowded spaces. Many did not take us seriously and even laughed,” Carmen Dorobat, director of the St Parascheva hospital for infectious diseases, told news portal ziare.com. “We said that we should enter the beginning of the school year with a smaller number of cases, in the order of hundreds, and not in the order of thousands. This has not happened.”
Now, the government is encouraging people to send videos of anyone who violates coronavirus restrictions to a dedicated green line if they see, for example, blatant cases of large gatherings.
Leading epidemiologists also say that the country’s intensive care units are in imminent danger of being overrun. In Romania’s sixth largest county, Timiș, the main infectious diseases hospital treating coronavirus cases reported earlier this week that all its ICU beds were occupied.
On Tuesday, Romania announced that as of Wednesday, Oct. 7, 49 countries, including Hungary, have been put on its “amber” list, meaning that visitors from those countries lacking a fresh negative coronavirus test will be put in quarantine for two weeks.
After a meeting of the country’s National Committee for Emergency Situations on Wednesday, Health Minister Nelu Tătaru and emergency services state minister Raed Arafat announced upcoming religious holiday restrictions for on Oct. 14, which is the day that 10th century Saint Paraschiva is celebrated. Now, only local congregations members will be allowed to attend.
In any other year, the day of St. Paraschiva brings hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to her shrines located in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Iaşi in the northeastern part of the country.
Romanian news portal hotnews.ro learned from government sources that at a recent cabinet meeting, the Ministry of Interior was instructed to dedicate 20 percent of the national police force to enforce new restrictive measures, which include the closing of all bars, clubs, discos, and gambling parlors, and also warned that should the transmission rate currently around 1.5 rise to three, then the sealing of individual districts of the capital could not be excluded.
A number of leading politicians have also began floating the idea that in view of the dire pandemic, Romania should consider postponing the legislative elections scheduled for Dec. 6.