Authorities take a step back on the Police-Church agreement on Easter. Specialists warn over gloomier outlook of the pandemic


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Following criticism in the public space and after the Romanian President himself had slammed the agreement concluded between the Police and the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchy through which policemen would have helped priests share the holy light to the Romanians’ residences on the Easter night, the Interior Minister Marcel Vela reconsidered the measure, announcing that the light will be distributed upon request only by the clerical staff accompanied by maximum 5 volunteers who will have protection equipment.

The religious Easter services across churches will take place without attendance.

The consecrated bread will be shared at the believers’ houses on Friday and Saturday, during 08:00hrs and 17:00hrs, and also in the first day of Easter, while the Holy light will be distributed by priests and volunteers, upon request, on Saturday, April 18, starting 20:00hrs.

People will receive the consecrated bread and the Holy Light from their doorstep or by the window, and in the case of blocks of flats, a representative wearing protection equipment will be designated to take the light and distribute it to other neighbours.

Raed Arafat: No relaxation yet, we must consider epidemic relapse in the autumn

The chief of the Department for Emergency Situations, Raed Arafat, has warned Romanians that we are not at the point to relax the lockdown and social distancing measures on the upcoming Easter holiday or in the coming 3-4 weeks. Arafat has also said we must consider an epidemic relapse in the autumn and that we must be prepared in this regard.
The emergency watchdog chief told Digit 24 that, if we don’t observe the lockdown rules now, we’ll have more cases and deaths in 7-14 days.
“If people are not observing social distancing rules, if they go visiting relatives, friends, we risk having memorial services next Easter, not celebrations”, he argued.
“There may be a decline in cases now, but there might be a rise in the autumn again. We must consider this version and be ready”, he said.

Top microbiologist Rafila: Resuming our old lives not possible earlier than by mid next year

Alexandru Rafila, the president of the Romanian Microbiology Society, has also voiced his doubt that people could get back to their old lives sooner than by mid next year and that we must get used with the social distancing and severe hygiene rules on a longer term.

We must get used to social distancing, to wearing protection masks and gloves, to washing our hands, only this way we can reach a relatively normal situation, (…) this until a vaccine is available, when the virus can be defeated,” Rafila said.

He argued that the treatment brings great hopes to the sick ones, but a vaccine can lead to the cut-off of the spread.

“If we reach 70-80% of immune population, through the infection and then through vaccination, only then we can stop the transmission and return to our old life. But I don’t think this could happen sooner than mid next year”.

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