The pandemic was announced globally by the World Health Organization in 2020, but at the initial stage each country had to cope by itself as the borders were closed, purchases of equipment could not be made, etc. The situation after a year of pandemic and the legislation that imposes restrictions in times of a pandemic were discussed by experts invited to IPN’s public debate “Look into the future after a year of pandemic”.
Disaster medicine specialist Mihail Pîslă, lecturer of the School of Public Health Management, said the state of emergency that was recently declared by Parliament is a mechanism that enables the authorities to take a series of measures that cannot be taken in the daily life as they are related to a series of restrictions, negative effects on the economy, teaching process, the population’s activity, etc. The state of emergency enables the authorities to take action to solve urgent problems. The state of emergency implies a set of administrative, medical or other measures that are taken in such situations and this is the purpose for which it is declared.
According to Mihail Pîslă, in Moldova there are two legal documents that regulate the state of emergency – the law on the state of emergency, siege or war that was adopted in 2001 as part of a package of legal acts concerning the military security of the state. In this law, the state of emergency was regarded as a stage for preparing the country for passing from the state of peace to the state of war. The key measures were aimed at preparing for the state of war and the measures related to the state of emergency caused by natural, technological, biological-socials factors was like a supplement. In 2009, when the law on state public health surveillance was adopted, when the Sanitary-Epidemiological Surveillance Service turned into the Public Health Service, one of the main tasks of this authority was to manage the public health emergencies that affect the population’s health. The state of public health emergency has different mechanisms. The state of emergency is declared by Parliament at the suggestion of the Government or the President, while the state of public health emergency can be declared by the National Extraordinary Public Health Commission or the similar local commission at the level of the territorial-administrative unit.
Ex-minister of health Viorica Dumbrăveanu, adviser to the Parliament Speaker, said the state of emergency is managed by the Commission for Exceptional Situations and the effects of the decisions that are taken by this are similar to those of a law. Social, economic, political intervention measures can be taken in different areas of activity. In such conditions, the situation at the local level is managed not by local commissions for states of public health emergency, but by local commissions for exceptional situations.
Viorica Dumbrăveanu noted that a Focal Point works at the level of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection. This 90% consists of health specialists. There is also the intersectorial group that incorporates specialists from different sectors, but the major role in this case is played by the health professionals. At the levels of the National Extraordinary Public Health Commission and the Commission for Exceptional Situations, the decisions are also discussed from the angle of public health. The public health specialists make the largest contribution to the decision-making process. That’s why the Commission for Exceptional Situations includes representatives of the Ministry of Health and the director of the National Public Health Agency, but the decisions are taken based on the expertise of health professionals.
The public debate “Look into the future after a year of pandemic” is the 180th installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.