After local mass media complained that the authorities do not report information about coronavirus cases in their localities, the Government explained that there is “a risk for confusion”.
Local authorities have stopped releasing the situation of the coronavirus cases in each county, have blocked the public access to the interactive map and have removed the charts with the county report. Prefects have been trained to release no information about the tests and the people who tested positive for COVID-19 in their counties.
The Strategic Communication Group argued: “There is a risk to generate confusion for those communities and to induce the wrong perception about the current state of affairs”.
“Reporting the distribution on each county of the COVID-19 cases does not show the presence of the respective people in communities, as it hints such a report, because the report is made according to the residence address. According to the medical protocol, the people who tested positive for coronavirus are admitted in the hospitals destined to such cases, in strict isolation (for instance, a person from Suceava is hospitalised in Iasi),” says the Strategic Communication Group.
“At the same time, as for reports on the situation of hospitalization depending on the medical unit, we determined there is the risk to generate confusion for the respective communities and to induce a wrong perception as against the current situation. It is the reason for which we are trying to prevent the stigmatisation and any situation that would prompt unjustified social conducts at local level,” the press release further reads.
The prefects received a document on Saturday from the Interior Ministry, informing they are not allowed anymore to release information about the patients infected with coronavirus, neither the number the tests, nor the number of people who tested positive and information about their health condition. The order prompted criticism of the local journalists, who signed a joint protest accusing the Strategic Communication Group of censorship.