Covid-19 infections surpass 1 million in Romania as healthcare system faces increased pressure.
Coronavirus infections passed the 1 million mark in Romania on Saturday.
Since the end of February last year when the first case was recorded in this
country, out of the over 1 million Romanians who have had the virus, over 900,000
have recovered and over 25,000 have died. The country is now in the third wave
of the pandemic, which so far seems to be the most difficult and far from over,
with the new variants making the virus more transmissible and causing more
Meanwhile, the vaccination campaign is gathering speed. With a
population of almost 20 million people, Romania has so far administered 3.6
million doses of the Pfizer, Moderna or
AstraZeneca vaccine, with 1.4 million Romanians having been given both shots of
the Covid vaccine. Despite this, the country is facing an extremely difficult
time in its fight against the pandemic. After more than a year of restrictions,
Romanian society and economy are showing signs of exhaustion and tension.
An indicator of the enormous pressure still faced by the healthcare
system is the number of people in intensive care. After stagnating at 1,200 to 1,300
for a while, ICU cases have now risen to some 1,500. The health ministry says
the situation is dramatic, with hospitals running out of ICU beds. The lack of
beds has even generated some complicated situations: patients with severe
forms, some even on ventilation, have to wait for hours for a bed to become available
or are taken on long trips to other hospitals around the country where there's
a free bed.
On Friday night, the evacuation of the Foișor orthopaedic hospital in Bucharest, one of
Romania's best medical establishments in this field, generated some unbearable
images. The decision had been taken to repurpose the hospital to treat only severe
Covid cases, but the evacuation was done in haste and late at night. The patients
undergoing treatment there were moved, either by ambulance or private transportation,
while still attached to medical equipment. The already dramatic situation was
further complicated by images of the security forces sent in to maintain order,
journalists broadcasting live and outraged protesters. (CM)