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The Minister of Health, Alexandru Rafila, stated on Friday that in the Government's meeting there was no contradictory debate on mandating COVID testing for people entering the country, mentioning that the recommendations of the European Center for Disease Control were analyzed and a solution that is convenient for the protection of the public health system and that can be applied must be found.

"First of all, let's make a disclaimer. I also read in the press that there were heated discussions at the Government, in which Mr. Grindeanu was also involved, he really did not have any opinion on this topic, because he does not master it. So there was no contradictory debate, the documents and the proposals of the European Center for Disease Control, which recommends testing people traveling in the EU with a PCR test, were analyzed in order to reduce the risk of transmission. Now, the applicability of a measure is also important, because if you introduce a measure for which you are not prepared logistically - I'll give you an example: if during the winter holidays we have to test 100,000 people every day and I am not referring to airport testing, but to the fact that patients who come from the red zone should be tested on the 8th day to get out of quarantine - you can't do that if you discuss about harvesting the test sample at the patient's home. A solution must be found that is convenient from the point of view of protecting the public health system and that can be applied," Rafila said.

He added that he had "no dispute" with Dr Raed Arafat, head of the Emergency Management Department.

The minister of health said that additional information will be taken from other European countries, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is making an assessment to see what measures have been taken in other states, so that a model can be used that can be applied also in Romania.

Asked if vaccinated people could also be tested, Rafila pointed out that there are already indications that vaccinated people may also get sick.

On Friday the Emergency Management Department (DSU) informed that the Ministry of Health (MS) and the Public Health Institute (INSP) will reconsider whether to mandate all persons arriving in Romania from December 5, 2021 to produce a negative RT-PCR test to enter the country.

"Regarding the information coming 'from sources' regarding the 'dissensions' that would have taken place during today's government meeting, we want to specify that they are far from being true and following the presentation of the initial proposal endorsed by the specialists, previously detailed at the government level after ensuing talks, it was agreed that the Ministry of Health and the National Public Health Institute will reconsider that aspect," according to the Emergency Management Department (DSU).

DSU says that, on December 2, given the uncertainties surrounding the spread of the new Omicron variant worldwide, as well as the possibility of the recovered or fully vaccinated people getting infected, INSP sent to DSU and MS a recommendation that entry into Romania should be made only by producing a negative result of a test performed 48 hours in advance, at the longest, regardless of the area of epidemiological risk from which travelers arrive.AGERPRES (RO - author: Alina Novaceanu, editor: Florin Marin; EN - author: Bogdan Gabaroi, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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