Covid catastrophe in Moldova: Authorities tighten regime, but without lockdown

Covid catastrophe in Moldova: Authorities tighten regime, but without lockdown

The state of public health emergency in Moldova has been extended until April 18. The decision to this effect was adopted today, March 19, by the National Extraordinary Commission for Public Health of the Republic.

“The National Extraordinary Commission of Public Health declares the state of emergency in public health from March 19 to April 18 inclusive. During this period there will be a number of restrictive measures,” reported the press service of the government.
Weddings, christenings, and other celebrations will be banned in restaurants and bars. In addition, shopping malls and markets will operate on a reduced schedule. It is also forbidden to hold fairs, exhibitions, and sporting events in the country.

Acting Prime Minister Aureliu Ciocoi stated that the worst situation is in Chisinau, where the limit of establishing a “red level” of epidemic danger is exceeded 14 times.

Recall that at this week’s meeting of the Supreme Security Council, head of state Maia Sandu recommended that the government introduce a lockdown. But the Parliament opposed it, arguing that a total ban would completely destroy the country’s economy. In the current situation, when the average daily increase in coronavirus cases is close to 2,000 people, and the mortality rate has reached 35 per day, the only way out is total vaccination.

Immunization in Moldova began on March 1, but its pace leaves much to be desired. The problem is that covid center health workers, who should be among the first to vaccinate, refuse the AstraZeneca vaccine donated by Romania because of its questionable quality. President Maia Sandu also refrained from the shot. The Republic also received a vaccine from the international platform COVAX, which had not been used in Europe before. Meanwhile, citizens of the republic most trust the Russian Sputnik V or the American Pfizer vaccine.

Starting tomorrow, March 20, the Ministry of Health may start vaccinating against Covid-19 using preparations made by Pfizer/BioNTech, 24,570 doses of which were delivered to the Moldovan capital today by a special flight.

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Transnistria, which continues to maintain its external isolation, has also tightened its epidemiological regulations. The Operational Headquarters decided to tighten quarantine measures as of March 22. More than 500 new cases are diagnosed in the region every day, the number of deaths has also increased, and hospitals are loaded to 82%. In the republic, a ban is being imposed on all public events held in open areas and indoors. It is restricted to hold corporate events at institutions and organizations of all forms of ownership, as well as the participation of employees in other public events. It is not allowed the accumulation of people in squares, parks, bus stops, markets and retail outlets.

From 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., catering establishments are prohibited. At other times, it is not allowed to hold banquets, birthdays, etc. Managers of organizations of all forms of ownership must organize the transfer of employees to the remote forms of work – from 30 to 50% of the total staff. All public transport will operate in strictly designated hours. President Vadim Krasnoselsky insists on keeping such restrictions until mid-May.

The region is also waiting for Sputnik V from Russia. The exact date is undetermined since the pace of vaccine delivery to the Russian Direct Investment Fund is slowed by the increased workload of manufacturers.

Tiraspol, following a number of European states, has so far stopped vaccinating against coronavirus with the British-Swedish AstraZeneca, which it received earlier as humanitarian aid also from Romania.