President Iohannis: Romania will not take the anti-COVID vaccine developed by Russia

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President Klaus Iohannis said in a press conference on Wednesday that “there is no foreign validation for the anti-COVID vaccine announced by Russia. “At this point there is no anti-COVID vaccine approved by the European Union”, the President said, mentioning he had a discussion earlier in the day with the Minister of Health, Nelu Tataru.

“It’s important that the Romanian know at this point we don’t have a vaccine in the EU right now, but the EU does support several research projects and we hope that in a close future we will benefit from a vaccine. Romania is part of this effort and we did register to receive 10 million vaccine doses in a first phase as soon as the vaccine is available in the EU,” the Romanian head of state pointed out.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced on Tuesday that his country had developed the first anti-COVID vaccine, saying that among the already vaccinated citizens is also one of his daughters.

At the same time,  Iohannis called on Romanians to wear a mask and keep the physical distance between them, amid new record in terms of number of infections with the novel coronavirus on Wednesday.

“Dear Romanians, today we’ve hit a new record with more than 1,400 persons found to be infected with COVID-19. This is too much and I want to ask you please wear a mask, all of you, keep your physical distance and let’s overcome this epidemic,” the head of state urged.

President Klaus Iohannis has also told the press conference that the local elections could be held if the epidemic did not worsen and strict health safety measures were taken.

“This is how democracy works: elections are held from time to time. They were supposed to be held in June; they could not be organised then because there was no way to organise them with enough safety measures. Elections have been postponed; Parliament has decided that the local elections will take place on September 27. So neither I nor the Government has established that; it has been established by Parliament. In my opinion, if the epidemic does not worsen and strict health safety measures are taken, these elections can be organised, but what the critical number is when the elections can no longer be organised is up to the Ministry of Health and the National Public Health Institute to tell us,” Iohannis said.

About the August 10 file: No witch hunt

Commenting on the re-opening of the investigation on the August 10 protest file, the President opined that it was good that the case would be further investigated “more thoroughly,” adding that he does not do a “witch hunt,” but wants the culprits to be brought to justice.

“I still believe that this August 10 case is extremely important to us as a nation, it needs to be clarified. I have said the same before. (…) I, you and many of you here, we have been fighting for years to consolidate an independent judiciary where politicians do not interfere with cases and do not interfere with disciplinary proceedings. All I want to say is it is a good thing the case will be more thoroughly investigated, and I am fully confident that justice will do its job and in the end we will have a clear picture of the guilt of some or the innocence of others. I do not do hunt witching. According to procedures, I want the culprits to be brought to justice,” Iohannis

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