The health crisis in Romania has taken a dramatic turn. The coordinator of Romania’s vaccination campaign, Valeriu Gheorghiţă, says that Romania is already in the same scenario as Italy was last year, writes Cristian Gherasim, Bucharest correspondent.
In the spring of 2020, at the onset of the COVID pandemic in Europe, Italy was the most affected country. The number of infections grew rapidly, and hospitals were overwhelmed.
Another top Romanian official dealing with COVID pandemic – the head of the country’s emergency unit- said that a comparison between the current situation in Romania and that in the Italian region of Lombardy is not exaggerated and admits that the situation is very serious.
After a botched communication campaign, all officials are calling for people to get vaccinated, saying it is the only way to overcome the 4th wave of the pandemic, which has become so virulent because the Delta variant is spreading much more easily.
Hospital and ICUs across the country are overwhelmed with media constantly reporting that no ICU beds are available. The situation is as such that ICU beds usually become available only after a patient dies.
The European Union has so far sent to Romania 250 oxygen concentrators and over and 5,000 bottles of monoclonal antibodies, as aid from the EU’s strategic reserve, for the treatment of COVID patients who are seriously ill. More than 20 fans and oxygen concentrators arrived in the country, according to a statement from the European Commission. The European Commissioner for Crisis Management says that the aid is also a form of reciprocity to Romania’s efforts to provide assistance to other EU countries during the pandemic.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has coordinated and co-financed the delivery of over 190 million items of personal protective and medical equipment, reinforced hospitals with additional medical staff and delivered vaccines and other essential equipment to more than 55 countries. In addition, the EU created a strategic rescEU medical reserve and distribution mechanism under the umbrella of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The reserve enables the swift delivery of medical equipment hosted by Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and The Netherlands.”, the EC statement reads.
Thought not as bad as Romania, the region of Eastern Europe is by far the worst hit in Europe. Eastern Europe (Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina) is red showing a spike in COVID cases. These countries have a high number of deaths compared to their populations. Thus, Romania has the highest average, of 16.6. It is the highest average in Europe, but unfortunately, according to the latest data, it is also the highest average in the world.
Romania is followed, in Europe, by Bulgaria, with an average of 12.37 deaths, according to Our World in Data. Lithuania also has a rather difficult situation, with an average of 10.14 deaths, given that the incidence of COVID-19 is high in this country.
On the other hand, in Western Europe, France, Italy, Great Britain, Portugal have clamped down on the pandemic with the death rate being very low. In the UK it is below 2, although the number of cases is comparable to that of the previous wave of the pandemic. The number of deaths in UK where the population is largely vaccinated is now even 20 times lower.