President’s Press Statement includes possible COVID-19 Updates

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President Klaus Iohannis, made a press statement on March 9th, in which he addresses a number of topics such as investments in hospitals, jobs and also the likelihood that the current curfew will be changed to 10pm instead of 11pm as cases continue to rise in Romania.

Many topics were discussed in the meetings among members of the Government and the Prime Minister over recent days, which address the need for more investments in the hospitals across Romania, health and safety of schools as well as creating more jobs for people, especially those affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, concluding his speech, which is translated below, he highlighted the fact that over the past week, COVID-19 cases have continued to rise, including in Cluj county, where the incident rate over the past 14 days remains over 3/1000.

COVID-19 Cases per County - March 9th 2021

 

COVID-19 Cases per County – March 9th 2021

New COVID cases in Romania since March 1

 

New COVID cases in Romania since March 1. Source: https://datelazi.ro/

He added, “I would like to point out that last week’s figures on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic are worrying. The growth trend is obvious and from all sides we are told that the pressure on the Intensive Care Units is increasing.”.

Highlighting the fact that the vaccination campaign, which is now approaching stage 3 (March 15), has been going well, with over 1 million residents already vaccinated with increase of doses day-to-day and expansions of the number of vaccination centres available for people to visit. But that the State of Alert will be extended due to the fact the numbers of cases has incrased and that the night curfew, which currently starts from 11pm, will be restricted to earlier hours, most likely starting at 10pm. However, at this time, there is no plans to announce a lockdown for the Easter period.

You can see the translated statement below:

Hello!

We have had several discussions these days with the Prime Minister and members of the Government about our priorities and about the investments that need to be started. Thus, we discussed about investments in hospitals, the endowment of hospitals, in order to offer much better conditions in our hospitals to our patients. We talked a lot about creating new jobs, especially for Romanians affected by the pandemic. We talked about the schools in Romania, the "Educated Romania" part, but also about safe and healthy schools, which we want for our children. But we also talked a lot about projects for a clean environment. We want a clean environment for all Romanians.

And today I had a more special meeting and I will insist a little on this, a working meeting on safe and healthy schools in Romania. The Prime Minister and several members of the Government participated. Today's discussions, to be a little clearer about what we discussed, focused on fire safety permits, sanitary permits, seismic vulnerabilities, ie earthquakes, but also the priorities for consolidating the built fund that serves the education system.

The truth is - and it's a sad truth - that we still have far too many unauthorized or unverified buildings in the last decade. As you can see, over 40% of the buildings in which schools operate are located in areas with a high seismic risk.

Today we discussed not so much about the problems, because they are known and we prepared a good enough introductory material, but we discussed the solutions, because these problems were constantly discussed. I wish, the prime minister wishes, all those who participated want us to find solutions and to take steps again and again towards the safe and healthy schools we want.

We agreed, for example, that it is very important that through future allocations, budgetary allocations, both from national and European funds, the area of ​​educational infrastructure be made a real priority for all of us.

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan, which we have repeatedly discussed, will provide the necessary funds to start major investments in state schools, to ensure these standards of safety, hygiene and quality.

There is an absolute need to revise the regulations on the construction, but also the arrangement and modernization of educational units. These things need to be updated urgently! We looked at the list of regulations, most of which are more than ten years old. It is clear that things have moved, we need to learn from what has happened in recent years.

At the same time, we know that things are often very complicated, too bureaucratic. Therefore, we set out to simplify, de-bureaucratise and streamline the entire process.

At the end of my speech, however, I would like to point out that last week's figures on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic are worrying. The growth trend is obvious and from all sides we are told that the pressure on the Intensive Care Units is increasing.

My dear ones, let's not waste what we have gained so far through the vaccination campaign, a vaccination campaign that is going very well. Over 1 million Romanians have already been vaccinated, and the number of doses administered is increasing from one day to the next. The number of vaccination centers increases from one week to another, so that by summer we have a very good level of vaccination of the population.

But until then we must be careful not to drown on the shore! The state of alert will be extended this week due to the relatively large number of illnesses, and the restrictions that are in place will be maintained, and night traffic, which is now restricted from 23:00, will be restricted more. early, probably starting at 10 p.m.

And, finally, a message that I think is important for many: I can tell you very clearly, dear Romanians, that we are not considering an Easter lockdown.

I wish you all good health!

Klaus Iohannis - Press Conference March 9th, 2021

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