President of Romania Targets to Extend State of Alert for Fighting Coronavirus

The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times claiming the lives of more than 406,000 people worldwide

The state of alert in Romania that is in place since May 15 to fight the new coronavirus or COVID-19 must get extended by another 30 days till the middle of July, the President Klaus Iohannis stated on Tuesday.

Iohannis gave an order for a strict lockdown in early March to rein in the outbreak and put back the state of emergency with a lesser state of alert mode the previous month. "We see the number of new infections has not dropped significantly, so we need this mode extended to fight the virus (further)," he stated.

Coronavirus in Romania

A worker of Junjiang Industrial Limited Company arranges disposable surgical gowns in Yilong New District at Bouyei-Miao Autonomous Prefecture of Qianxinan in southwest China's Guizhou Province, Feb. 21, 2020. Medical supply companies in Yilong New District have been producing medical supplies at full capacity to support the fight against the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. (Xinhua/Yang Wenbin/IANS) Xinhua/IANS

The extension must be approved by parliament, where the centrist government lacks a majority. The leftist Social Democrats that lead the opposition have threatened to block the extension, accusing the cabinet of trying to remake daily life through "fines and restrictions."

Romania has so far recorded 20,749 cases of COVID-19 infections, of whom 14,910 have recovered and 1,345 died. Over the past 24 hours it recorded 145 new cases. Under the state of alert, a ban on travel without official permission was lifted, church services were allowed to resume outdoors and restaurants with outdoor seating reopened.

Iohannis said further restrictions would be lifted on June 15 with shopping malls, kindergartens, after-school facilities and swimming pools reopening after three months of closure. But restaurants with indoor seating would remain closed.

(With agency inputs)

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