The number of new coronavirus cases registered in 24 hours reached 3,000 in Romania: From Tuesday to Wednesday, the Strategic Communication Group announced 2,958 new infections, while from Wednesday to Thursday, another 3,130 were recorded. With these two new records, the total number of people infected with the new virus reached 145,700 on Thursday, while a total of 5,247 deaths related to COVID-19 have so far been registered since the outbreak of the pandemic. Romanian news portal ziare.com talked to several doctors to find out how much Romanians should worry about this situation.
Doina Azoicăi, the president of the Romanian Epidemiological Society pointed out that these records should make Romanians behave more responsibly, as the increase in new COVID-19 cases in Romania has exceeded the numbers registered in the European Union, which has also seen an increase. The president of the society said that in the last 14 days, there were 138 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, meaning that the incidence of the virus will increase in the next couple of days.
“The transmissibility rate of the virus is 1.5, whereas in previous months, it had decreased to 1, which means that we can control the intense transmission rate at the community level only by strengthening the regulations; we have to respect the regulations in crowds or avoid big groups and wear a mask,” Doina Azoicăi, the President of the Romanian Epidemiological Society told ziare.com. She added that she believes that wearing masks should be obligatory outside as well, if there is a crowd. “Without the participation and collaboration of the population, things will not get better,” the doctor stressed.
Carmen Dorobăț, the manager of “Sfânta Parascheva” Infectious Diseases Hospital in Jászvásár (Iași) said that these number are worrying, but not a surprise. “Two months ago, at the end of the summer vacation, we, the infectious disease specialists, said that we should wear masks in crowded, open spaces. But many did not take us seriously and even laughed at us. We said that the new school year should start with fewer cases, with a couple of hundred, not a couple of thousand, cases. It did not happen,” Carmen Dorobăț said. The hospital manager also added that this record is due to several factors – the opening of the schools and universities, the electoral campaign, the socialization of the younger generation, and even the aggressive representation in social media of people not respecting the safety measures.
Radu Țincu, the chief physician at the Intesive Therapy department at Floreasca Emergency Hospital in Bucharest said that it was predictable that something similar would happen. “The situation is becoming more and more difficult, but it was predictable because the relaxation of the safety measures in September was not accompanied by compliance with strict sanitary rules. I think in the following days, there will be an increase in the number of new cases,” the chief physician said.
Marius Leonte, the manager of the Brassó (Brașov) County Hospital, told ziare.com that the main problems are the lack of beds in intensive care and the lack of specialized personnel. “These are reasons that have dragged on for years, reasons that suffocate us and show us the magnitude of this pandemic,” the hospital manager stressed.
However, Carmen Dorobăț says that there are several people infected with the virus who refuses to stay in the hospital. “Of course, people with no symptoms, those with mild sickness and no risk factors, may stay at home, and may listen to the advice of their family doctor; but there are people advised by us, the infectious disease specialists, to stay in the hospital, and they refuse. Under these circumstances, they may return to the hospital in a more serious condition. And during this period, they may have contact with others, as these people are contagious; so this is how the factors, identified by us, the doctors, day by day, accumulate,” Dorobăț explained.
Hurmuzache Mihnea, doctor at “Sfânta Parascheva” Infectious Diseases Hospital in Jászvásár asked people to wear their masks in crowded spaces in order to avoid infection. “It is useless to adopt restrictions in some areas if people go to the market, for example, and do not wear a mask. Wearing a mask should be obligatory in all spaces that could become crowded. I am talking about wearing the mask correctly, mind you!” The doctor also stressed that without strict regulations applied to the entire county, this situation may last for a long time.
Radu Țincu, chief physician at the Intensive Care department at Floreasca Emergency Hospital in Bucharest shares a similar opinion. “At the moment, as we cannot control the pandemic, quarantine should be introduced, most probably a regional quarantine, in hotspots like Bucharest or any other area where the incidence rate is higher than 3 percent. However, I would like to point out that the pandemic has its own dynamic, but three to four weeks from the introduction of the quarantine, there should be favorable results,” Tincu said. The doctor also pointed out that it will take time to control the hotspots, as the virus will spread during the quarantine also.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Nelu Tataru said on Wednesday that in the upcoming period, a cross-evaluation will be conducted in hospitals and public health directorates to find out if the healthcare providers are capable of operating under these circumstances.
If people who don’t believe in the virus, don’t wear a mask and make fun of all the epidemiological measures get infected, they should not be hospitalized, said Cristian Oancea, the manager of Victor Babeș Epidemiological Hospital in Temesvár (Timișoara), on Digi24.
“We are here to fight for those who want to live. But we are helpless against those who don’t believe in the virus. But if these people get infected, they should treat themselves with alternative therapies and not burden the healthcare system,” Oancea said.
The manager also added that many of his patients did not believe in the virus, but after catching it they started wearing a mask and adhered to and even promoted the public health regulations. According to the hospital manager, they are not asking anything that violates human rights but for people to wear a mask and follow the sanitary rules.
Not less than 355 educational institutes switched to online teaching, the Ministry of Education announced Wednesday evening. The number of schools applying the red scenario increased by 11 in just one day.
The Ministry notes that in 173 schools, coronavirus illnesses among students and teachers justify distance learning, while 182 educational institutions switched to online education partly due to the high number of cases registered in the settlement and partly due to repair work.
According to the county school inspectorates, 12,459 schools are applying the green scenario, meaning that students attend normal, face-to-face classes, while 4,842 institutes are following the hybrid educational format.
But the National Council of Students is now asking schools to prepare for online education, saying that for some students, going to school has become impossible, as they cannot afford to buy the necessary masks and disinfectors.
“This is the moment we have all feared: rapid, uncontrollable increase in the number of cases and more and more illnesses in educational institutions. We call on the authorities, especially the Ministry of Education, mayors and school principals, to take all necessary measures to ensure that the transition to online teaching can take place at any moment. The health of students and teachers is a priority!” the president of the council, Rareş Voicu, said in a press release.
The press release also stressed that the lack of computers and tablets makes it impossible for some students to participate in online classes.
Title image: According to several doctors, Romanians should worry about this situation. Photo: stirileprotv.ro