Congestion and tension at border checkpoints due to coronavirus testing

There is serious congestion at Romania’s western border checkpoints. Buses and cars are having to wait for hours because of the lack of personnel to handle the epidemiologic testing of people entering the country. At the Nagylak/Nădlac checkpoint, there was almost a riot over the weekend because of the wait as well as the fact that those with a negative test were sent into quarantine.

The reason for the congestion is that the Public Health Directorate called back many of its personnel at the border, including doctors and assistants. Since schools reopened, these people are now needed at educational institutions to carry out epidemiologic testing there.

The Public Health Directorate of Arad County recalled 40 employees, so travelers are being forced to wait for hours at the Nagylac/Nădlac, Varsánd/Vărșand and Tornya/Turnu checkpoints. The head of the Arad County Public Health Directorate, Horea Timiș, stated for Agerpres that half of the 70 employees there are from abroad. “Because of the new situation, the waiting time at the borders increased because the assistants and doctors returned to the local administrations. Practically half of our staff left.”

According to Timiș, most of the problems are at the Nagylac/Nădlac checkpoint, where most of the buses come, but travelers need to reach the Public Health Directorate checkpoints as well for testing. Meanwhile, the leader of the Public Health Directorate says the situation can be solved only by the Ministry of Health, which can approve the employment of the needed number of healthcare personnel without them having to take an exam; this is because examinations for state institutions be organized while the pandemic situation persists.

Featured photo: stirileprotv.ro

Author: Blanka Székely