Romania confirmed the highest number of daily coronavirus or COVID-19 infections in around two months on Thursday as the country gets ready to assess a new phase of the relaxation next week.
President Klaus Iohannis ordered a strict lockdown in the early period of March to contain the spread of the deadly novel virus and replaced the state emergency with a softer state of alert int he month of May, that is going to run till mid-July.
Romania Records Highest Daily COVID-19 Cases in 2 Months
"Today, unfortunately, we witness higher numbers than usual, but I hope this will change ... I call on the population to maintain rules of hygiene, those rules of precaution and physical distance," Health Minister Nelu Tataru said. The government said Romania has recorded 25,286 cases of COVID-19 infections so far, of which about 18,000 patients recovered and 1,565 died. Over the past 24 hours it recorded 460 new cases.
One-third of Romania's cases are concentrated in three cities: the capital Bucharest, the northern town of Suceava and in Transylvania's medieval city of Brasov. The Social Democrat opposition has accused Iohannis and his centrist government, of trying to remake daily life through "fines and restrictions," and of manipulating virus infection data.
The government has said it has only been trying to protect Romanians from the virus and blamed the opposition for unfounded allegations. Health authorities have said people have begun to be more lax in keeping to the safety rules. Under the state of alert, a ban on travel without official permission was lifted and restaurants with outdoor seating reopened along with swimming pools and shopping malls.
(With agency inputs)