Igor Boțan: Some of actions of public figures undermine activity of institutions fighting COVID-19

The political institutions have a negative attitude to some of the public institutions that state their opinion or that support those who make statements about the actions taken to manage the pandemic in Moldova. Such an attitude was seen towards the Ombudsman’s Office that supported the doctors when they spoke about the shortcomings in the healthcare system. Also, some of the actions of public figures, including the non-observance of the epidemiological measures, undermine the activity of the institutions involved in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Igor Boțan opined in the public debate “Why doesn’t COVID-19 recede? Who should do and what should be done?” that was staged by IPN News Agency.

According to Igor Boțan, who is the standing expert of IPN’s project, the Ombudsman’s Office in the period has been a very exemplary institution and it should be given as an example. This institution examined all the aspects following the declaring of the state of emergency and its intervention was swift, with press statements by which it acted extraordinarily and absolutely appropriately.

For example, the institution expressed its regret at the fact that the public and political authorities ignore communication. “Even if there is a state of emergency, communication is important if it is appropriate and is not based on fake news. The doctors who spoke before cameras and were somehow pressed were protected by the Ombudsman’s Office as whistleblowers, saying these should be listened to as they work in the front line and are the most affected ones. We all saw that about 20% of those infected are healthcare workers. Elementary calculations show that 7% of all the doctors in the Republic of Moldova got infected and some of them died. They cannot be penalized for making statements,” stated Igor Boțan.

He also said that a special law was adopted in Romania on May 15. This regulates the behavior of citizens and public institutions and specifies the ascertaining agents and the punishments for citizens. Things in Moldova stand differently. The fines are disproportionate to people’s incomes, while the public figures ignore the imposed anti-epidemic measures. The public authorities also ignored the counteroffensive of those who designed different conspiracies about the pandemic. “They didn’t say that the virus is a danger to public health and this has an impact on the economy. In May alone, the state budget revenues declined by 40% on April.”

The debate “Why doesn’t COVID-19 recede? Who should do and what should be done?” was the 139th installment of the series of debates “Developing political culture through public debates” that are supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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