President warns he won’t hesitate to declare state of emergency again if situation gets worse

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President Klaus Iohannis said in a press statement on Thursday evening that if “the situation gets worse” and the number of COVID-19 infections is alarmingly increasing he will not hesitate to declare a state of emergency again.

“I want to be very clear: if the situation gets worse and the data will show a galloping number of infections, which will lead to the overcrowding of hospitals, then I will not hesitate to declare a state of emergency again,” the president stated.

The head of state underlined that the upcoming three days, May 15-17, will not lack restrictions and that the Government has a legal framework in place to take measures.

Iohannis thanked Romanians for their effort to comply with the lockdown rules.

“Today is the last day when Romania is in state of emergency. We are at the end of two difficult months, when most of you, the overwhelming majority, have complied with the restrictions imposed by the authorities. You stayed at home, you gave up seeing your family and friends, you changed your entire life putting above all not only your health, but also the others’.

Through a national effort, we managed to stop the rapid spread of the epidemic and to significantly contain the number of casualties.  You, dear Romanians, are the heroes of this national effort! Thank you for all your sacrifice”, the Romanian president said.

The President also thanked the doctors and the entire medical staff for their “extraordinary efforts”. “Protecting the healthcare workers as a priority through equipping hospitals with medical materials and devices- protective masks, coveralls, gloves, medical equipment and disinfectants- has been essential in the fight against the virus”.

Klaus Iohannis has recalled that Romania had been less ready to face this crisis and that the current Government had found the state treasury empty and thus, they had to quickly identify solutions and purchase the needed materials. He has also taken a new opportunity to slam PSD again.

“The unprecedented situation that we have been facing with these past weeks has mirrored what the failure of the past 30 years had meant in underpinning an efficient state. It’s not the first time when I say that the most important reform in Romania needs the state’s reconstruction. It is an ambitious goal that cannot be achieved in 4 years, but it is mandatory to start the reset to develop the country. Healthcare, education, administration, must be our priorities. Besides, we have also faced this period an almost nonexistent legislation, which is not enough in a crisis situation. We had to handle the situation based on two-three laws carelessly adopted 20 years ago (…) The government is compelled to permanently adapt to the few legislative resources at hand, while in Parliament old and retrograde MPs have tried to tear down the modest tools we had at hand”, Iohannis pointed out.

The head of state added: “We actually saw with how much irresponsibility some MPs were close to make the law on the state of alert almost inoperable. This situation cannot go on like this! Legislation must be coherent in order to allow the state’s rapid intervention. In an emergency or alert situation, the Government, regardless of its political colour, is the one who must take immediate actions for it is the one that has the executive tools to enforce things when it’s the case”.

President Iohannis stressed that the upcoming three days will not lack rules and restrictions, arguing that “getting back suddenly to the situation before the pandemic is impossible”.

“The virus doesn’t account for administrative acts, and to prematurely give up to all rules that proved to be good would mean a serious error.

The state of alert brings new risks and additional responsibilities for all those who will resume activity in a way or another.”

He said that social distancing, the work from home where it’s possible, complying with all hygiene rules, wearing protection facemasks, are essential in order to control the epidemic from now on.

“Without these rules, without the responsibility of each of us, things can easily degenerate. And I want to make it very clear: If the situation gets worse and data will show a galloping number of infections that will lead to the hospital’s overcrowding, then I will not hesitate to declare the state of emergency again! Let’s not ruin all that we have accomplished with great sacrifices so far!”.

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