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31 Mar 2020 | 05:30 AM UTC

Romania: Municipality of Suceava placed under quarantine March 30 /update 4

Government places the municipality of Suceava and eight villages under quarantine due to COVID-19; follow authority directives

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Event

Interior Minister Marcel Vela issued an ordinance on Monday, March 30, stating that the municipality of Suceava and eight surrounding villages will be placed under quarantine. The measure comes after one quarter of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases were recorded in the Suceava region. The affected villages are Adâncata, Bosanci, Salcea, Ipotești, Moara, Șcheia, Pătrăuţi, and Mitocu Dragomirnei. Under the government ordinance, individuals will be prohibited entry and exit in the affected areas except for the transportation of freight, medical assistance, or for individuals who carry out essential economic activities. Though it remains unclear as to when the policy will enter into effect, the quarantine is expected to last until at least mid-April.

The government implemented a nationwide lockdown until further notice, banning individuals from leaving their homes for nonessential reasons and closing all businesses except for those selling food or pharmaceutical products, and those providing veterinary services.

On Wednesday, March 25, Romanian authorities announced a series of new quarantine measures. Individuals arriving in Romania from Italy, Spain, France, Germany, and Iran will be placed under a mandatory 14-day quarantine in a state facility. All other individuals arriving from abroad will be placed in isolation at home for 14 days. These measures apply to all individuals regardless of nationality.

On Saturday, March 21, Romania closed its borders to all foreigners; only individuals who have family in Romania, those who have residence or long-term visas, and those who are traveling for business will be allowed to enter the country.

To date, there are 2109 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Romania, including 68 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.  
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.