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Health

Romania's coronavirus spike exceeds 2,000 new daily cases

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BUCHAREST (Reuters) - The number of new coronavirus infections in Romania rose by a record 2,158 in the past 24 hours, the government said on Wednesday as cases surged across central Europe.

The European Union state has confirmed 127,572 cases including 4,825 deaths since the pandemic hit in late February, the highest fatality rate in the EU’s eastern wing, and the government has extended a state of alert until mid-October.

The eastern European country of 20 million imposed a strict lockdown in March. Since it ended in May, protective masks have been mandatory in public transport and indoor public spaces, although compliance has been patchy.

The centrist minority government opened schools on Sept. 14 on a case-by-case basis, with towns affected by the pandemic holding classes online. Indoor restaurants also opened in September in areas less affected by the pandemic.

“I am very concerned by what I have seen today,” Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said on Wednesday, adding that cabinet officials would analyse potential further measures to stem transmissions of the respiratory disease.

Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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