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Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Romania - Statistics & Facts

The first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Romania was confirmed on the February 26, 2020. Initially, most people who tested positive for COVID-19 either came from Italy, or other countries which already had a high number of infections, or had contact with a person who had traveled abroad. By the end of March, there was a minimum of 200 cases per day confirmed. However, Romania recorded the highest number of cases per day in the second wave of infections, especially in October and November. The Romanian authorities increased the testing capacity from at least 2,000 people per day in the first wave of infections, up to 20,000 tests per day in the second wave. As a consequence, by mid November, more than 300 thousand cases were confirmed. Currently, the most affected cities are Bucharest, Suceava, Brasov, Arges, Iasi and Prahova, totaling almost half of the number of infected people in Romania.

One of the first measures undertaken by the Romanian authorities was closing all schools starting on March 11 and prohibiting public events with more than 1,000 participants. Other recent measures included criminal fines and criminal records for people who did not comply with quarantine requirements and postponing flights to and from countries labeled as risk areas. On March 16, Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis signed a decree which established a state of emergency throughout the country's territory. Since May 17, the emergency regime has been replaced with a state of alert.

From an economic perspective, the Romanian GDP is expected to decrease by 2.1 percent by the end of 2020. The inflation rate is also likely to increase from 3.3 percent to 3.5 percent in 2021. Moreover, by March 15, the Bucharest Stock Exchange registered one of its lowest drops in the last thirteen years. The spread of the coronavirus epidemic caused great disturbances in the financial market, especially in May, when the main macroeconomic indicators recorded their lowest values. At the same time, labor market indicators, and money and credit indicators decreased considerably since the coronavirus outbreak, compared to 2019. In this regard, the Romanian government and the National Bank of Romania are expected to implement additional measures in the following days to support not only the companies and their employees, but also the very high number of people left unemployed because of the coronavirus epidemic.

Furthermore, there is little trust that the Romanian health system is prepared to face the high number of infected people. As a result, because of the lack of medical protection equipment, there were nearly eight thousand employees within the healthcare system reported to be infected, and at least 700 patients in critical condition. Despite this, the Romanian population showed great support of and respect for the medical staff, the army, and the Ministry of Health.

A major event that happened in Romania in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, were the local elections. Initially planned for June 2020, the first wave of coronavirus cases led to the elections being postposed until September 27. However, Romanian citizens were not optimistic that the spread of the virus would get better by fall, and believed that the pandemic would affect the organization of the local elections mostly by benefitting the bigger political parties. In spite of the entire context, Bucharest recorded the highest voting attendance since 2012, with approximately 36.2 of the capital’s inhabitants going to vote.

For further information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit our dedicated Fact and Figures page.

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