The County Capital of Szatmár County, Szatmárnémeti (Satu Mare), will be placed under lockdown starting on Thursday after the coronavirus infection rate in the city reached 7.4 per 1,000 residents in the last 14 days. Szatmárnémeti will be placed under quarantine for 14 days, along with Szatmárpálfalva (Păulești), Vetés (Vetiș) and Szaniszló (Sanislău), where the infection rate has also been high.
According to the press release of the County Committee for Emergency Situations, those living in Szatmárnémeti will undergo the same measures adopted during the last state of emergency:
– Movement will be restricted between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., and residents may leave their homes only for good reason and with a statement of personal responsibility, e.g., to go to work, buy medicine, help those in need, or for medical care.
– The curfew at night will now start an hour earlier, at 10 p.m.
– Transit is allowed in the city, but non-Szatmárnémeti residents are not allowed to stop in the city.
– Restaurants and cafés can provide home delivery or takeaway only, and all shops close at 9 p.m.
Churches will remain open, and masses can be held both inside and outside the church, but only for those who live in the city. Weddings, christening and funerals may also be held in churches, with a maximum of 16 participants; 20 people can attend outdoor civil wedding ceremonies, while 10 may attend indoor ceremonies.
According to maszol.ro, the level of infection in Szatmárnémeti was not communicated for weeks, so it was shocking when the authorities announced on Tuesday that the rate had reached 7.4 and the city would have to be placed under lockdown. The communication of the Szatmár County Prefect and Public Health Directorate has been secretive from the beginning of the pandemic; they have only passed along the most important information to the press, who have then informed residents, maszol.ro stresses. As an example, newspapers reported the latest data for the rate of infection on November 3, when it was said to be just 3.13 per 1,000.
For months, the number of infected people in Szatmár County was the lowest in Romania, but recently, the spread has accelerated, with 154 new cases recorded on November 17 alone. Since the beginning of the epidemic, 4,030 coronavirus cases have been officially recorded there, and of those, 2,123 have fully recovered and 51 have died. The county’s infection rate is 4.48 per 1,000.
The 32 ICU beds at Nagykároly City Hospital and Szatmár County Emergency Hospital are all occupied, which was probably was one of the reasons that led to the lockdown.
Several other cities in Romania are also under quarantine: Zilah (Zalău) since November 5, Nagybánya (Baia Mare) since November 11, Nagyszeben (Sibiu) since this Monday, and Gyulafehérvár (Alba Iulia) since Tuesday. Beszterce (Bistrița) is also preparing for quarantine.
Title image: Transit is allowed in the city, but non-Szatmárnémeti residents are not allowed to stop in the city. Photo: frissujsag.ro