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Coronavirus

Arafat: Healthcare system has lost the fight against COVID-19

The Romanian authorities try to use communication to fight those who don’t believe in the coronavirus and those who are not fearful enough, asking them to follow the safety measures adopted to stop the spread of the virus, Raed Arafat, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Home Affairs and head of the Department for Emergency Situations (DSU), said in a television interview. The state secretary also added that the authorities are trying to avoid conflict, as “nobody wants to see the gendarmarie using their nightsticks.”

According to Romanian portal Hotnews.ro, the member of the national operational group made quite a pessimistic statement about the growing pressure on hospitals: According to Arafat, the Romanian healthcare system, both in terms of capacity and overwhelmed personnel, “has lost the fight against COVID-19.”

Raed Arafat. Photo: Facebook

“We will reach that moment when there will be no places for the infected in the COVID hospitals. Therefore, it will be necessary to establish places in other hospitals to be able to take those infected, to allocate places for them in the intensive care units,” the head of the Department for Emergency Situations explained.

Meanwhile, Dr. Virgil Musta, chief infectious disease specialist at Victor Babeş Infectious Diseases Hospital in Temesvár/Timişoara, told national news agency Mediafax that all respirators are currently being used by patients.

“Two nights ago, we encountered a terrible situation. A female patient arrived who needed to be put in intensive care, but there were no spaces available,” Dr. Musta told Mediafax. “We are not there yet, but the thought itself terrifies me. I am overwhelmed that the moment may come when we [doctors] will have to choose who lives and who dies,” the doctor added.

Doctor Virgil Musta became famous after he and his team cured hundreds of COVID-19 patients. (Photo: Spitalul Victor Babes Timisoara Facebook Page)

In Romania, the saturation of the intensive care units in the COVID hospitals surpassed 70 percent on Saturday, and the number of cases is growing. Last week, there were more than 4,000 daily cases for several days, and, according to the latest data of the Group for Strategic Communication, 30 percent of the coronavirus tests analyzed in the last 24 hours were positive.

From Sunday to Monday, another 2,466 new cases were registered, bringing the total number of infections to 182,854. Of those, 132,082 have been declared fully recovered, while 10,296 people are currently being treated in the hospital and 757 people are in intensive care.

Title image: According to Raed Arafat, the pressure on hospitals is growing each day. Photo: Hotnews.ro

Author: Orsi Sarány