BUCHAREST (Reuters) – The number of coronavirus infections in Romania rose by a record 1,030 new cases in the past 24 hours, the government said on Wednesday, as the World Health Organization sounded the alarm over spikes in southern Europe and the Balkans.
Romania has confirmed 40,163 cases including 2,101 deaths since the pandemic hit in late February.
The government has extended a state of alert, in place since May 15, by another 30 days until the middle of August.
Romania’s spike this month is in part because of a legislative void that enabled thousands of infected people to walk out of hospitals or not be treated at all.
The Constitutional Court ruled in early July that the government could not hospitalise or isolate people based on cabinet decrees, but only through a law approved by parliament. which came into effect on Tuesday.
Earlier this week, Health Minister Nelu Tataru warned that if the situation escalated, the government may quarantine specific outbreak areas going forward.
“While certainly in western Europe the disease has come under control, we still have some worrying trends in southern Europe and the Balkans so we’re not out of the woods just yet in the European environment,” WHO emergencies programme head Mike Ryan warned on Wednesday.
“It requires sustained vigilance.”
(Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Jon Boyle and Andrew Cawthorne)