Romanian deputies amend government ordinance on support measures for the health-care staff with responsibilities in transporting, equipping, assessing, diagnosing and treating Covid-19 patients
In the almost four months that have passed since the first case of coronavirus infection was reported in Romania, some 23 thousand people have tested positive and 1450 have died of Covid-19. Early this month, the number of new cases was on a downward trend, and everybody was hoping the number would keep decreasing, and life would come back to normal. In the past week, though, the trend has changed, and there are some 2 to 3 hundred new cases reported every day. The increase in the number of new cases follows a relaxation of restrictions and it's no surprise, said on Radio Romania the health minister Nelu Tataru.
Nelu Tataru: "There have been three periods of relaxation, and we expect to have now a progressive, not exponential increase, and this is what is happening, because there are still minister's orders in place, which set certain norms for the carrying out and functioning of activities and operations. As long as we observe these norms and rules, we can say that the evolution is favorable, even if a slight increase in the number of new cases has been reported, and therefore we can think of further measures to ease restrictions as of July 1st."
For those in the health-care sector, though, there is no relaxation in the fight against Covid-19. On the other hand, at the end of so many exhausting weeks, some of them have voiced disappointment over what the trade unions in the field have described as "the unfair way in which the risk bonus has been awarded". This bonus, covered from European funds, is the equivalent of 500 Euro, which political decision-makers in Romania decided at the start of the pandemic to grant to those working in the hospitals dealing with cases of Covid-19.
"The employees' expectations have been very high, following the health minister's public statements, who said that the staff working in the COVID hospitals would get the bonus", trade unionists have stated. However, "the bonus was granted only to those who transported and got into direct contact with the Covid-19 patients, and not to all health-care staff who have carried out a strenuous activity over this period", the unionists have also stressed.
In order to avoid other interpretations and to prevent any unfairness, on Wednesday, the Chamber of Deputies, as a decision-making body on this matter, endorsed a bill which stipulates that this bonus is to be granted over the period of alert as well, not only over the state of emergency period, and the categories of staff benefiting from this bonus are clearly defined.
Therefore, the medical-sanitary and auxiliary medical staff, including the specialized personnel from the paraclinical medical-sanitary structures and the paramedical personnel, including the one from civil structures, as well as the operative field intervention personnel from the ambulance services directly involved in transporting, equipping, assessing, diagnosing and treating patients suspect of and/or diagnosed with Covid-19 will benefit from this bonus. (M.Ignatescu)