Homecoming musicians cause coronavirus scare in Romania

Local authorities in the western Romanian town of Temesvár /Timișoara expressed dismay that a 50-strong philharmonic orchestra returning from China was not submitted to any medical checks for signs of the coronavirus upon its return from the Asian country.

It was well-known that they came from China, but there have been no checks anywhere at the airport, neither in Germany, nor elsewhere,” Gârboni said. He sent the entire team to be checked by doctors, and Romania has designated five hospitals to deal with any cases, but so far none have been reported in Romania.

“As the director, I have decided to send them on two weeks’ leave to stay at home. This is a sort of quarantine. They will of course be paid and have been advised to contact as few people as possible,” Gârboni said.

Scientists have yet to fully understand the destructive potential of the new virus, known as 2019-nCoV. Researchers and investigators are just beginning to figure out where it originated, how it’s transmitted and how far it has spread.

As of Thursday, the number of cases had skyrocketed to more than 800 in China and abroad. Chinese authorities also confirmed that health workers have been infected with the virus, suggesting that human-to-human transmission is possible.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to prevent the spread of the disease, China has locked down Wuhan and two other cities in the region.


Title image: The Victor Babeș Hospital for Infectious Diseases was designated to treat coronavirus cases in Temesvár. (source:

Author: Dénes Albert