Patients suspected of COVID-19 infection leaving quarantine due to legal loophole

A legal loophole has allowed coronavirus patients in institutional and mandatory quarantine who are suspected of carrying the virus but do not have any symptoms to leave the hospital, increasing the likelihood of further spreading the disease. Over the weekend, patients discovered that the government doesn’t have the legal right to keep them in institutional quarantine, so they took advantage of this loophole and left the hospitals, reports Maszol.

In Bucharest, for example, more than 60 patients suspected of being infected with the novel coronavirus have submitted written requests to leave home. This happened after media reporves of an internal letter from the interior minister to county prefects stating that the government is temporarily suspending institutionalized and mandatory quarantine because the Constitutional Court had invalidated the ordnances enforcing them.

According to the Constitutional Court’s decision, ministerial decrees don’t have the power to impose quarantine measures, as the text of the decrees violates the constitution because it is unclear and unpredictable, uncertain and difficult to anticipate, and does not offer guarantees of respect for fundamental rights and freedom. The ruling was handed down last Thursday, and since then quarantine and self-isolation has become only recommendations for patients without symptoms or people suspected of carrying the novel coronavirus.

According to the latest statistics available, 741 patients are currently in institutional quarantine and close to 60,000 are in home isolation. Hospitals are treating close to 6,000 infected patients.

This Monday, the government adopted a bill that redefines the terms of quarantine and self isolation so they are in line with the Constitutional Court’s recommendations.

Title image: Coronavirus: It’s not over yet. Image source: Pixabay.com

Author: István Fekete