As Romanian counties turn red – the color used to visualize the spiking numbers of confirmed COVID-19 infections – local authorities have decided to lock down eight county seats in a desperate attempt to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. Six of the eight municipalities are in Transylvania. While the infection rate is high in other big cities, local authorities there are still hesitating to take the same step (via G4Media).
As of Thursday, Beszterce/Bistrița-Năsăud is under lockdown for 14 days because its COVID-19 infection rate surpassed 9 per 1,000 inhabitants. Constanta will join the list on Friday at 8:00 p.m., bringing the total number of municipalities under quarantine to eight. Other big cities should follow, in theory, but they aren’t: Despite reporting more than 8 cases per 1000 inhabitants, the local authorities in Kolozsvár/Cluj-Napoca, Brassó/Brașov and Temesvár/Timișoara don’t yet see quarantine as a justified measure to stop the rapid spread of COVID-19.
The first municipality to enter lockdown was Zilah/Zalău, on November 4. The city will remain under quarantine for the next 14 days, the prefect’s communication team has announced.
Zilah was followed by Nagybánya/Baia Mare a week later, with an infection rate of 6.47 per 1,000 inhabitants, and Slobozia (Ialomița County) on November 12, with 7.53 cases per 1,000. Nagyszeben/Sibiu was the fourth city to be quarantined, as the infection rate there has surpassed 11 per 1000 inhabitants.
Gyulafehérvár/Alba Iulia closed its doors on November 17, with an infection rate of 9 per 1,000 inhabitants, and, as we previously reported, Szatmárnémeti/Satu Mare has recently entered quarantine as well.
Initially, the Government established that county authorities could opt for quarantine if the confirmed coronavirus infection rate surpasses 3 per 1,000 inhabitants in the past 14 days.
Then, in early November, State Secretary Raed Arafat informed authorities that the threshold for entering lockdown is 6 per 1,000 inhabitants.
However, the final decision comes from the county authorities.
Using this opportunity, local authorities in Kolozsvár/Cluj-Napoca, Brassó/Brașov and Temesvár/Timișoara refrained from locking down their cities despite surpassing the new threshold, which would have forced them to do so.
Title image: Pixabay.