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Romania announces lockdown in new move to curb coronavirus

Christian Fernsby |
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday announced a nationwide lockdown from Wednesday morning with only a few exceptions, in a latest move to contain the COVID-19 epidemic.

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The head of state made the televised announcement after a meeting with the prime minister and several other relevant ministers.

"New restrictions on free movement for Romanians will be introduced in the sense that what has been a recommendation until now becomes an obligation," said Iohannis.

He also added that special restrictions would be introduced for people aged over 65, as they are the most vulnerable people. Thus, they will have to stay at home practically all the time.

Previously, Romania had imposed a curfew between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. beginning Sunday, with the exemptions for professional reasons, shopping of daily necessities, necessary medical services, short physical exercise and walking a pet. The authorities recommended citizens to stay at home as much as possible during daytime when announcing the curfew.

The president mentioned the army would be used to manage the situation, together with the gendarmerie and the police.

Romania reported 186 more COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing its total to 762. Among the infected, eight died and 79 were declared healed and discharged.

The country entered a state of emergency on March 16 after the number of COVID-19 cases exceeded 100.

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