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Romania extends coronavirus lockdown for another month

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Workers wearing protective gear disinfect a marketplace to curb the spread of the COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus, in Bucharest on April 13, 2020. – Until now Romania registered 6,633 confirmed cases of people infected by coronavirus, 331 deaths and 914 healed persons. (Photo by Daniel MIHAILESCU / AFP)

Romania on Tuesday extended its nationwide lockdown for another month in a bid to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

The government will maintain previously enforced restrictions, including allowing citizens to go outside only for work and essential shopping during day time, closing schools and barring most foreigners from entering the country.

“The danger hasn’t pass. Relaxing restrictions… would lead to a drastic increase in new cases and pressure on the healthcare system,” President Klaus Iohannis said during a televised address.

“It’s clear we are facing an epidemic, which is very hard to control,” he added.

Romania with a population of almost 20 million people has reported more than 6,800 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus so far with 346 deaths.

Around 800 healthcare workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in one of the EU’s poorest nations, whose economy has also been hit hard.

The crisis is expected to peak after next week’s Orthodox Easter.

Government officials have called upon the millions of Romanians working abroad to refrain from coming home for Easter, saying they will be put in quarantine.

Churches are also closed in Romania, where 88 percent of the population is Orthodox, and religious services are taking place without worshippers.


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