Visiting hour restrictions in hospitals have been put in place in Romania because of the increasing number of cases of transmissible diseases.
It is the season of virus infections and flu, and the number of cases of airborne transmissible diseases is increasing by the day. That is why, several hospitals in Romania have decided to restrict the visiting hours schedule. That is the case of the Regional Oncology Institute in the Northeastern city of Iasi, which is in quarantine, after a patient suffering from leukemia died of flu. Flu has also been confirmed with other patients suffering from cancer, some of them in a very serious condition. The patients are very likely to have been infected by a visitor. That is why, the manager of the Institute, Gabriel Dimofte said that the visitors’ access was forbidden and that they are running tests on the patients to stop the spread of the virus.
Gabriel Dimofte: “People are no longer allowed to enter the hospital as visitors because the risk is very high. With a large number of visitors, the hospital risks being very crowded. Several patients are undertaking rapid tests and we are going to have the results in the next few days. There are six patients suffering from flu in the intensive care unit; one or two are already feeling better and will hopefully come out of the unit in a day or two. There are still another five patients under control in the hematology unit.”
People can catch a mere cold any time of the year, but flu is more frequently reported from October through February since the weather conditions and the sudden changes of temperature trigger a lower immunity. Since 10 people have died of flu in Romania so far and the number of such cases is still very high, doctors further advise people to get vaccinated. They also recommend that people should strictly observe hygiene measures, eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and avoid self-medication.
Special attention is being paid to the categories of people at risk, that is patients with chronic diseases, pregnant women, elderly and children. People in the western city of Timisoara who are ill and need to be admitted to hospital might go through a nightmare situation, given that last weekend media footage gave glimpses of wards in the Hospital of Infectious Diseases with badly peeling walls, rusty furniture and sheets instead of curtains across the windows.
Consequently, the hospital has been fined for existing unhealthy conditions, inadequate lavatory facilities and faulty waste management. What’s really tragic is that fines will not solve the problem and it is equally tragic that there are many such hospitals across Romania. People can die prematurely in Romania because of the under-funding that has affected the healthcare system for years on end, because of the local officials’ glaring indolence in making investments in the healthcare infrastructure, and because of a faulty management and an acute shortage of medical staff. For instance, the authorities are facing big difficulties in solving the long crisis caused by the shortage of immunoglobulin after certain producers have withdrawn from the market.