Lockdown Loss Will Amount to about 2.5 Billion Lei per Week

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The middle of March will be a decisive period for the Moldovan economy, as well as for the public health sector. Against the background of the growing number of deaths caused by complications of COVID-19, the authorities must decide whether a total lockdown is needed for at least two weeks or the current restrictions will remain, mold-street.md wrote. At a meeting on March 13, 2021, the Supreme Security Council (SCC), headed by President Maia Sandu, recommended the government and parliament to declare a state of emergency in the country. "The forecasts are gloomy. We run the risk of achieving a much higher number of infections and deaths than now," the head of state said after the meeting of the WSC. Sandu has avoided the term "lockdown," which means a complete shutdown, but some of the proposals voiced suggest a break of at least two weeks for the economy. The VNB recommended that the government, within three days, draw up a list of necessary restrictions, types of activities and categories of citizens falling under these restrictions, as well as compensation they will receive from the state, and submit these proposals to parliament. Unlike the quarantine in the spring of 2020, at the suggestion of the president, compensation was recommended for employees who would have to stay at home. This is at least 1000 lei per week. The WAB also recommended simplifying the procedures for obtaining unemployed status so that people who have lost their jobs can more easily apply for unemployment benefits. Council members did not name areas of activity or specific institutions that will be closed. At the same time, it is unclear whether the companies, which may be closed, will receive compensation from the state. Economist Veaceslav Ionita believes that the price of a possible lockdown will be 2.5 billion lei per week. Trade, services, as well as the state budget will suffer the most - the latter will lose at least half a billion lei a week.