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Coronavirus (COVID-19): What Does Emergency Ordinance No. 11/2020 On Medical Emergency Stocks Provide?

Publication: ZRVP

Pursuant to the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 11/2020, in case of epidemics/pandemics or emergency situations of international public health declared by WHO, if there is an imminent risk for public health, at the proposal of the Technical Group of Experts of the Ministry of Health, the health minister shall impose quarantine to the persons entering the territory of Romania from the affected areas, as a measure of prevention and limitation of infections, and, depending on the development of the epidemiologic situation, the Ministry of Health establishes and updates the affected areas, the mandatory quarantine period and other necessary measures by issuance of instructions.

Once the state of emergency declared for the public health at international level, due to the infections with the new coronavirus (“COVID-19”) occurred in the Wuhan Region of the People’s Republic of China, and considering the highly contagious character of the virus, which has caused the death of a high number of persons, as well as the fact that cases of infection with COVID-19 are being reported daily, the World Health Organization (“WHO”) has recommended that all countries should be prepared to handle the infections with the new virus, including as regards active supervision, early detection, isolation and treatment of the cases, tracking of contacts and prevention of the continuous spread of the infection.

WHO declared, on March 11, 2020, that the situation generated by COVID-19 has gone beyond the stage of epidemic, this being possible to be declared pandemic, in the context in which cases of infections have been registered in almost all the countries of the world. According to the WHO, pandemic may be defined as the spread at a global level of a new disease, this being declared when a virus occurs and spreads in the entire world, and most of the people do not have immunity to it. On the other hand, an epidemic represents a sudden increase of the cases of a disease, this being possible to be attributed to a country or community.

At a global level, the number of infections is, as of 23 March 2020, of over 349 000 cases, having caused over 15 000 deaths. In Romania, until 23 March 2020, 576 cases have been registered.

The WHO representatives have declared that all state should find their balance between health protection, minimization of economic and social impact and observance of the human rights. At the same time, they have characterized the COVID-19 pandemic not only as being a public health crisis, but also one that will affect each sector, recommending that all sectors and each individual be involved in the fight.

To this end, the Government of Romania adopted the emergency ordinance no. 11/2020 on medical emergency stocks, as well as some measures related to the instituting of quarantine, approved by Law no. 20/2020.

Pursuant to the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 11/2020, in case of epidemics/pandemics or emergency situations of international public health declared by WHO, if there is an imminent risk for public health, at the proposal of the Technical Group of Experts of the Ministry of Health, the health minister shall impose quarantine to the persons entering the territory of Romania from the affected areas, as a measure of prevention and limitation of infections, and, depending on the development of the epidemiologic situation, the Ministry of Health establishes and updates the affected areas, the mandatory quarantine period and other necessary measures by issuance of instructions.

At the same time, for the situations when there is an imminent risk for public health, necessary measure may be ordered for the prevention and fight against the effects, including the establishing of quarantine areas, temporary circulation restrictions, as well as measures of evacuation, which are mandatory for all the central and local institutions.
The ordinance sets forth also a series of provisions regarding the expenses related to quarantine, and namely:

  • expenses related to the Romanian citizens quarantined in the territory of other states, as well as the ones necessary to cover the transport from the affected states to the national territory shall be disbursed from the budget of the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • expenses related to the supply or the taking of measures for offering quarantined travelers sufficient food and water, appropriate accommodation and clothing, protection of luggage and of other personal effects, the necessary means of communication if possible in a language these can understand and any other proper support shall be provided or disbursed, as the case may be, from the budget of the Ministry of Health.

The measures of prevention and limitation of the events declared international public health emergency by the WHO shall be coordinated and implemented by the specialized structures of INSP and of the county public health directorates and/or of the public health directorate of Bucharest Municipality by ensuring the 24/7 standby service, by the on-duty service or calling of doctors to come from their domiciles, as the case may be. The epidemiologic triage from the border crossing points shall be carried out by the county public health directorates and/or by the public health directorate of Bucharest Municipality by their own personnel or by delegated/seconded personnel from other medical units.

Government Emergency Ordinance no. 11/2020 provides that medical emergency stocks shall be constituted as material reserves destined to the actions for the protection of the population in emergency situations generated by the risk type of epidemics and other events generating multiple victims.

The classification of the medical emergency stock products contains the list of products that may be constituted as medical emergency stocks, the maximum constituting level and the storage term of these.

The annex contains the categories of medical emergency stock products, and namely: complete coveralls, including hood and footwear protection, protection visors, single-use gloves with medium wristband, protection face mask type FFP2 or FFP3, negative pressure isolation rooms, isolettes with negative pressure for stretcher transport, medical ventilator, medical monitor, syringe pumps, filters for existing isolation rooms with negative pressure, TP1 disinfectants for the hygienic disinfection of hands by rubbing, TP2 disinfectant for high level disinfection of critical surfaces, ultrafast ready prepared TP2 disinfectant for surfaces and devices – critical medical devices, disinfectant for semi-critical surfaces, disinfectant for non-critical surfaces, set of air mycroflora disinfectants, thermal scanners.

These products are exempted from customs duties.

Products may be taken out from the medical emergency stocks or given for free use, in the following situations:

  • potential danger, imminence of threat or occurrence of epidemic/pandemic or other events generating multiple victims in the national territory;
  • instituting of the state of emergency for public health an international level;
  • activities of specialized training and preparation of the personnel involved in actions of prevention and response, organized nationally or internationally, in the area of emergency medical assistance;
  • operative intervention through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

Products for accumulation, replenishment and refill of medical emergency stocks shall be acquired under the legal provisions of public procurement, the National Office for Centralized Procurement being appointed as an institution habilitated to organize and conduct the awarding procedures, for the conclusion of framework agreements.

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