Prefect Alin Stoica: Target of five-million vaccinated persons by June 1, difficult, but not impossible

Bucharest Prefect Alin Stoica on Wednesday stated that the target of five million people vaccinated by June 1 is "difficult to reach, but not impossible." "The target is, let's say, difficult to reach, but not impossible. (...) I do not have an expected date. For now, the target is five million on June 1. This is difficult, because there is only a short amount of time left and, if we divide that million into the number of days left, we will see that the deadline is quite close. Bucharest, for instance, should reach around 20,000 vaccinated persons daily and we are not there yet. And this is only Bucharest, I don't know anything about the situation in the other counties (...)," Stoica told a press conference held in the parking lot of Metro Berceni, on the occasion of the opening of the first Drive Thru vaccination centre in district 4 of the Capital City. Responding to a question about how students will go online again, in the event of an increase in the infection rate, the prefect said that the same procedure will be followed as the one applied for returning to classes in physical format. "Hopefully this won't happen and it won't grow, but if it does grow by more than one per thousand, then we'll follow the same procedure we followed in allowing schools to return to a normal programme, in physical format: we expect to see that the trend is confirmed to exceed one per thousand, after which we will make the decision to go online on the scenario that is already provided in the joint Order of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health," said Alin Stoica. Doctor Alexandru Rafila, the representative of the World Health Organization in Romania, ruled out the possibility of an increase in the infection rate in the Capital City. "We can rule this possibility out. (...) Including after Easter we expected that, after two weeks, the number of cases would increase. "I hope that this downward or at least stabilized trend does not change," Rafila said. In order to avoid situations in which schools have to repeatedly switch from physical format to online or vice versa, depending on the daily fluctuations of the COVID-19 infection rate, Alexandru Rafila proposes that schools be opened at the threshold of 1 per thousand, and the closing should be done at 1.5. "If the opening of schools is done when the cumulative incidence falls below 1 and there are small daily fluctuations that can lead to exceeding this threshold or falling below this threshold, so as not to disturb children very much, because we do it quite easily, what could be done is to open the schools at the threshold of 1, and to close them at 1.5. What I mean is that we should leave a margin to avoid these daily fluctuations leading to the closing and reopening of schools in very short interval, which would greatly disrupt the educational process," Rafila explained. AGERPRES (RO - author: Daniel Popescu, editor: Catalin Alexandru, EN - author: Cristina Zaharia, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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