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World News

Romania to extend state of alert to curb new coronavirus cases

A woman wearing a medical mask passes by an outdoor poster that shows a medic depicted in a similar manner as Jesus Christ would be portrayed by Christian Orthodox religious paintings, in Bucharest, Romania, April 29, 2020. The poster, created by Romanian illustrator Wanda Hutira, is part of a "Thank you doctors" campaign. Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea via REUTERS/File Photo

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania’s centrist minority government introduced new progressive restrictions to stem a rise in new coronavirus infections and will extend a state of alert until mid-November, authorities said late on Tuesday.

Romania has been reporting daily infection rates of over 3,000 for the past few days, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 160,461 since the pandemic reached the country in late February.

While 120,515 people have recovered, 5,535 have died, the highest fatality rate in the European Union’s eastern wing.

The government will ban all indoor and outdoor private events such as weddings and baptisms from Oct. 15, and will make wearing protective masks in all public spaces mandatory in towns where the two-week average rate of infections exceeds 3 cases per 1,000 people.

Wearing masks is currently mandatory in public transport, indoor public spaces and crowded areas such as markets.

Officials also decided to make opening theatres, cinemas and indoor restaurants dependant of the number of infections in each city. Establishments would run at half capacity in areas where the infection rate was below 1.5 cases per 1,000 people, and at a third of capacity where the rate was between 1.5 and 3.0.

Reporting by Luiza Ilie

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