Romanian authorities are facing their first challenges while preparing quarantine centers meant to isolate suspected Coronavirus cases. In the municipality of Bacău, located in the eastern part of Romania, a rather tense situation developed on Monday, as the prefect’s office decided to transform the dormitory complex of the Technical College of Communications into a quarantine center for citizens returning from coronavirus-hit Italy. Hundreds of students had to leave their dorms by Monday night; some of them spent the night with friends living in the city, some were transported to the dormitory of another college, and some were taken in by their teachers, ziare.com news portal reported.
On Tuesday, several angry parents gathered in front of the prefect’s office, claiming that they were not informed in time, meaning that 260 minors had been relocated without their parents being there. The Bacău County prefect, Liviu Miroseanu, initially declared that the school dormitory had to be used as a quarantine center because it was one of the very few locations that met the conditions imposed by the Ministry of Health – most importantly, that the rooms had their own private bathrooms.
The appalled parents, on the other hand, threatened to continue their protest, and the prefect finally conceded: On Tuesday morning, he declared that passengers arriving from Italy to the Bacău airport will be placed in a tourist pension located on the outskirts of the city so that the students can return to their dormitories.
In Romania, fears of the coronavirus epidemic have been heightened mostly due to the fact that at least two focal points of the outbreak have appeared recently in northern Italy. Almost 1.2 million Romanian citizens live and work in the Mediterranean country, more than a quarter of them in the northern provinces: about 200 000 people in Lombardy and some 120,000 in Veneto. Several dozen flights arrive to Romania’s 12 international airports from Italy each day.
Today, President Klaus Iohannis said that the Supreme Council of National Defense has met and decided that extra measures will be taken at the borders to identify travelers showing symptoms of a respiratory disease. Iohannis also said that for the time being, there are no confirmed Coronavirus cases in Romania, but authorities must be prepared. According to official data as of today, 26 people were placed under quarantine and 2,077 people have had to remain isolated in their homes.
Title image: Romanian authorities are aware that the appearance of a Coronavirus case in the country is just a matter of time.