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Emergency Management head Arafat: There was no Technical & Scientific Group decision to approve lockdown criteria

Inquam Photos/ Octav Ganea
Raed Arafat

The Technical and Scientific Group's March 23 meeting did not end with a decision to approve the new lockdown criteria, head of the Emergency Management Department (DSU) Raed Arafat said on Friday in response to the statements of freshly dismissed Health Secretary of State Andreea Moldovan.

Arafat explained that according to its statutes, the Technical and Scientific Group is a support group for highly communicable diseases, which includes experts and representatives of relevant institutions, but whose decisions need the approval of the National Committee for Emergency Situations (CNSU), and doesn't enforce decisions on its own, confirms.

The set of lockdown criteria was indeed presented at the group's meeting on March 23, but the group didn't approve en bloc the criteria that have been next published in the - meanwhile repealed - Minister's Order No. 506/2021. The decision only provides for the approval of the criteria proposed by the National Public Health Institute (INSP) regarding the weekend schedule, the weekend curfew hours and other aspects related to gyms and fitness halls, but nothing about the lockdown criteria, Arafat said.

The Emergency Management head adds that on April 9, in an address to the Health Ministry, INSP said that it won't be able to calculate one of the proposed criteria at locality level, which - Arafat explains - shows that INSP was having doubts about certain criteria which were still in limbo, which is why the decision to propose the criteria to CNSU was not issued at the March 23 meeting.

In a press conference held today with ex-Health Minister Vlad Voiculescu, former Secretary of State Andreea Moldovan said the Minister's Order on the lockdown criteria published the night before her dismissal was debated for two consecutive days, at the Health Ministry, "in a more than select company", with INSP and DSU representatives, epidemiologists, nurses, as well as former Minister Vlad Voiculescu, and that the final form was agreed by everyone, including the Technical and Scientific Group.

Prime Minister Florin Citu, who is temporarily in charge of the Health portfolio after the dismissal of Vlad Voiculescu, repealed on Wednesday the Health Minister's Order No. 506/2021 on new lockdown criteria, which had been published the day before.


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