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Thursday, 26 March

Statements by Prime Minister Ludovic Orban at Victoria Palace

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Ludovic Orban: Good morning. This morning, Health Minister Victor Costache filed his resignation for personal and professional reasons. I have taken notice of his resignation which I will sent to President Klaus Iohannis for the issuance of the revocation decree. Victor Costache has been a member of my Cabinet for five months. We made a good team and we took together a set of important decisions with a beneficial effect on the healthcare system. I regret the Minister's resignation but I also understand it and I thank him for our good collaboration.

My nomination for the Health Minister seat which I am going to submit to President Klaus Iohannis is the Secretary of State Nelu Tătaru, who is a member of the Health Ministry’s team, he has been on the front line in the fight against the novel coronavirus. He already masters all procedures, the entire plan of measures. He is in Suceava today. I called him up and informed him about my intention to nominate him as Health Minister. We will discuss all the details upon his return to Bucharest.

I will continue to strengthen the team at the Ministry of Health. The Health Ministry will further strengthen its capacity to meet the unprecedented challenges posed by the coronavirus epidemic. We will stay focused on all the objectives we set out: strengthening the Public Health Directorates to meet the increasing needs in their work to fight the coronavirus epidemic, ensuring increased pace in conducting the epidemiological investigations and ensuring normal living standards while making sure that the quarantine and home isolation rules are observed and that all operations characteristic to the Public Health Directorates are duly conducted, in a prompt manner and with maximum efficiency.

We are still pursuing the objective of increasing the diagnostic capacity. The National Institute of Public Health, based on the recommendations from the European Commission, has set up a diagnostic system, establishing which the diagnosis priorities are. All these diagnosis priorities remain valid.

The diagnostic rules established by the National Institute of Public Health will be maintained, in line with European and international recommendations. We further pursue equipping hospitals with the necessary materials and equipment to ensure the protection of doctors, nurses, and all hospital employees, regardless of whether it is about hospitals subordinated to the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Transport or the local authorities.

Our top priority is to purchase materials, equipment, devices, absolutely necessary to be able to protect hospital employees and hospital patients who are being treated for conditions other than the coronavirus. We continue to implement the plan of preparing hospitals for the treatment of infected patients. We are practically maintaining the same strategy that has been established and we are gradually preparing all the hospitals that enter the strategic mode, designed to treat the patients who are infected with coronavirus, preparing them for the moment when they have to enter the treatment mode. I assure all Romanians that the Government, the Health Ministry, all institutions subordinate to the Government, on the frontline of the battle, are dedicated to doing their duty and their top objective is defending the health and life of the Romanian citizens. Thank you!

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