Iohannis: We cannot defeat the pandemic by discrimination. Unexplained bans do not solve problems

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President Kalus Iohannis said on Wednesday that imposing compulsory vaccination or restrictions on the unvaccinated will not “takes us far” and will not solve problems. The president said there was a need for a better awareness campaign because only by vaccination could wave four be prevented.

“I cannot accept measures that lead to discrimination, we cannot defeat the pandemic through discrimination,” Iohannis said on Wednesday.

Asked by reporters whether he supports the introduction of restrictions on unvaccinated people against COVID, Iohannis said people cannot be forced to do things they don’t want to do because they don’t understand them, so the vaccination campaign needs to be improved: “I tell Romanians to get vaccinated, it is very important to prevent a new wave, to prevent the spread of this virus.”    

Even if it is possible to introduce some restrictions for unvaccinated people in non-essential places, at restaurants, at the cinema, this does not solve the problem, it only solves punctual problems. The problem is solved by mass vaccination. I cannot accept measures that lead to discrimination,” the head of state said.

Asked about the obligation to vaccinate against COVID-19 in categories such as doctors or teachers, he avoided a sharp answer, but said it was unacceptable that medical staff should not be vaccinated.

“It is unacceptable for medical staff not to be vaccinated. If he gets the virus from there, the man has achieved the opposite of what he expected. In our country, most of the health system is made with taxpayers’ money, so I expect to be treated, to leave there healthier, not sicker “, Iohannis argued.

The head of state underlined that the anti-Covid jab is available and people need to understand that id we have few infections it’s because of the vaccination. “Otherwise, it is obvious we’ll have a fourth wave of the pandemic the same way it has already appeared in the western countries. And we must put it bluntly, the fourth wave is the wave of the unvaccinated. Those who got vaccinated cannot develop the severe form of the disease. The vaccination inhibits the infection to develop. Take the jab!”, Iohannis pointed out.

At the same time, the head of state added that if the government wants to come up with a lottery-like campaign that is working, it is all right. “But we have to see with what costs. For the vaccine is already free of any charge, we can give people some incentives, but things must remain in a reasonable area”.

His statement comes after Health minister Ioana Mihaila had told a Hotnews interview that she had forwarded the Executive some proposals to speed up the anti-Covid vaccination process in Romania. Besides vaccinating people at their homes or in outpatient units, the minister also considers granting meal vouchers for those who choose to get vaccinated, as well as organizing raffles for the vaccinated ones.

Minister Mihaila believes that managing the fourth wave of the pandemic depends on each of us, adding the protection facemask and social distancing remain necessary for resuming classes in schools in the autumn.

President Iohannis has visited Comana Natural Park on Wednesday.

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