Romanian experts presented three scenarios with a huge impact on the healthcare system in the 5th wave of the pandemic, expected in January.
Romanian experts say that Omicron is likely to generate a 5th wave of the pandemic and that this new variant of the coronavirus may become dominant in the country in January. The peak of the Omicron wave could be reached 31 days after the date when the national infection rate exceeds 1%, and not 52 days after this date, as in the case of the Delta variant. Dr. Adriana Pistol, head of the National Centre for Surveillance and Control of Communicable Diseases, presented three scenarios, with an impact on the healthcare system during the 5th wave. The worst case scenario is, according to Dr. Pistol, the full occupation of the 25,000 hospital beds available for Covid patients in 27 days. Also in this scenario, 1,500 beds in intensive care units would be fully occupied in 20 days. According to Adriana Pistol, the main vulnerabilities in the context of the 5th wave are the fact that 60% of the people aged over 65 and people with chronic diseases are not vaccinated while only 25% of the people immunized had the booster jab.
Another vulnerability is the delay in passing legislation on the introduction of the Covid green certificate, that could have prevented the spread. Also, there are no instruments to control the spread of the disease by people traveling from countries affected by Omicron. Faced with the perspective of a 5th wave of the pandemic, PM Nicolae Ciuca announced a number of measures, such as better informing the population, extended testing and encouraging vaccination. PM Nicolae Ciuca: ˮAn operative health information management group will be set up within the Health Ministry, to coordinate resources, actions and medical information. We will increase testing capacity and focus on outpatient medical assistance. ˮ
In his turn, Health Minister Alexandru Rafila made a number of recommendations, among which vaccination, observance of social distancing measures and increased testing capacity: ˮMy colleagues and I believe that vaccination prevents severe cases and deaths. Observing social distancing measures, personal hygiene rules and wearing the face mask correctly are vital. Testing is essential and we encourage it in all possible ways, whether we refer to asymptomatic persons and direct contacts or to voluntary testing. Contacting the family doctor as soon as symptoms that might suggest the presence of the disease are detected, is also very important. ˮ
Health Minister, Alexandru Rafila, also recommended a daily triage of the staff, a work schedule that avoids crowding common spaces and transportation means, and also tele-work. (EE)