Romanian authorities are seeking solutions as the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care is growing alarmingly
The recent surge in the number of coronavirus infection cases in Europe may lead, in a few weeks’ time, to the overcrowding of intensive care units. This is the warning coming from the World Health Organisation against the backdrop of the growing number of COVID-19 hospitalisations.
Romania is currently experiencing the most difficult period since the start of the healthcare crisis in late February, with record-high numbers of cases and of patients in intensive care. Specifically, last week the number of new daily cases was around 4,000, with the capital city Bucharest ranking first by number of COVID-19 patients. Also, the number of patients in ICUs at national level is around 750.
The Bucharest prefect Gheorghe Cojanu has already announced that there are no more available beds in dedicated hospitals. As a result, the decision was made that as of Monday another hospital, Colentina, would receive Sars-Cov-2 patients exclusively.
Gheorghe Cojanu: “In Bucharest there are no more beds available in ICUs. This is a rather serious problem, which is why [state secretary] Raed Arafat announced us that a document has already been signed, for Colentina hospital to be exclusively receiving COVID-19 patients. So there will be 300 - 400 beds available for these patients. Also, Elias hospital has a modular unit which has been operating on short periods, because they did not have medical staff on a permanent basis, and an order has been given for Floreasca and Elias hospitals to provide medical staff to that unit.”
According to prefect Gheorghe Cojanu, the physicians and nurses working in the schools that have switched to online classes and no longer work directly with children will be transferred to coronavirus hospitals.
Iaşi, the largest city in the east of Romania, is facing the same problems as Bucharest does. In Iaşi as well, all ICUs are full. Of the total number of 41 intensive care beds, the last 10 were occupied this weekend. The solution, i.e. 24 additional beds, was supposed to be a mobile hospital opened on Friday, but the oxygen generator broke down and it may take around 2 weeks to fix it. Meanwhile, local authorities have decided to open 2 intensive care units for Covid-19 patients in other hospitals in the region. But until these are operational, severe cases will be transferred to other medical units in the country. (translated by: A.M. Popescu)