Romania passes law to stop COVID-19 patients from leaving hospitals

epa08542522 A woman plays with a puppet wearing a face mask during a protest against the measures taken by the authorities to limit the new spread of coronavirus infections at Victoria square, in front of the government headquarters, in Bucharest, Romania, 12 July 2020. After easing the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in an effort to restart its economy, Romania reported a record-high 698 new infections on 11 July, and 456 new cases on 12 July. EPA-EFE/BOGDAN CRISTEL

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A legislative void that enabled thousands of Romanians infected with the new coronavirus to walk out of hospitals or not be treated at all ends on Tuesday as a new law comes into effect.

The European Union state has reported a spike in COVID-19 infections this month and record high daily levels since the pandemic started in the country in February.

Until this month, the government through a series of cabinet decrees has managed the outbreak by hospitalising those who were infected and by quarantining or home-isolating people who might have been exposed.

But on July 2, the country’s Constitutional Court ruled that Romania could not enforce mandatory quarantine or hospitalised care based on government decrees, and that such containment measures could only be taken through a parliamentary law.

A new law fast-tracked in parliament comes into effect on Tuesday and covers the legislative void.

“From tomorrow we have a law, we can hospitalise, we can isolate,” Health Minister Nelu Tataru told private television station Digi 24 late on Monday. “If we enforce these levers we can reduce the number of infections.”

 

via Reuters

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