The mayor of Cluj-Napoca, Emil Boc, has referred to the relaxation of measures, aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19, as “irrational”.
The Romanian Government recently announced that they will be relaxing measures over the holiday period just as other countries are stepping up their vaccination booster program and applying or considering new measures in light of the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron.
The mayor was keen to identify the huge difference between what other countries are doing and what Romania is doing during what experts have predicted, will likely be a tough season for most countries, as more and more people are driven indoors by the cold weather and the fact that medical systems are normally busier during winter months due to other seasonal illnesses.
“If I look at Europe, I realise that there is a tsunami on the horizon, there is a wave coming and that's how it was every time, from West to East (…) What does it mean? We have not yet escaped the pandemic, this is the first conclusion we must keep in mind. The second is that the last wave, unfortunately, brought a lot of lives in Romania, because we had a low vaccination fund” the mayor said on NapocaFM Radio.
The new measures being relaxed include the removal of the mandatory wearing of masks in the street, unless in crowded areas, although there has been no official explanation of “crowded” and the extension of hours for businesses as well as the opening of Malls to those who are unvaccinated, where previously only vaccinated people were allowed to enter.
“Now, looking at what is happening in France, Europe, Belgium, Italy, there is more and more talk about the obligation to vaccinate medical staff, those in social assistance. There is also talk of the mandatory green certificate for multiple and various activities, including dose 3. If we look at what others are doing and if we are rational enough, (…) this should not happen now in Romania . Let's make sure we have the highest possible degree of vaccination, so that when that wave comes to us we don't have such problems with deaths and we don't have to crowd the hospitals like that anymore. I hope that the Government will take measures for the safety of the Romanians and not for the interest of one party or another “, the mayor continued.
Vaccination is Key
Scientists from the UK's Health Security Agency announced that the COVID-19 booster dose, significantly restores protections against mild forms of the disease, providing 70-75% protection against symptomatic COVID-19, regardless if it's different from the original vaccine taken in the initial first and second doses.
Health officials and the mayor have all informed that vaccination is the only way that the country can restore to some sort of normality, yet Romania still sits at just over 39% population vaccination, the second lowest in the EU.
You can schedule vaccinations on the official Vaccination Platform: https://vaccinare-covid.gov.ro/
Cluj-Napoca currently has one of the the highest vaccination uptakes in the entire country, with around 55% of the eligible population, however some predict that the percentage is higher, due to most of these numbers being generated based on the location that the individual is registered as living. Considering that Cluj-Napoca has a very high student population and the fact that most students do not change their address when moving to the city, it's very likely that Cluj-Napoca's vaccination rate for people actually walking around in the city, is much higher.
Despite high vaccination rates, the mayor said, “If we were rational enough, this should not happen now in Romania,” as countries all over Europe are beginning to consider compulsory vaccination in many areas and COVID-19 Green Certificates for access. “I looked at Germany and, no matter how unpopular some measures were, they did not give them up,” added the Mayor Emil Boc.