More than 5,000 people protested Saturday in Romania’s capital of Bucharest to reject upcoming measures used by authorities to combat an alarming surge of COVID-19 infections.

Daily COVID-19 infections in the European Union nation of 19 million have skyrocketed from around 1,000 daily cases a month ago to 12,590 new cases on Saturday. That was Romania’s highest daily number of infections since the pandemic started.

The rise is putting the country’s hospitals under serious pressure as intensive care units reach near-capacity nationally. Authorities have said that new restrictions will be implemented when an area’s infection rate exceeds 6 per 1,000 residents over a 14-day period.

Bucharest’s infection rate Saturday stood above 8 per 1,000 residents.

The mostly mask-less marchers blocked traffic, honked horns and chanted “Freedom!” One placard read: “Green certificates = dictatorship.”


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