Covid-19 cases on the rise in Romania, expected to peak at 10,000 a day in mid-August

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Romania’s new Covid-19 cases have nearly doubled over the last week, with daily cases expected to rise to 10,000 in mid-August, Health Minister Alexandru Rafila said on Monday.

The number of new infections was 7,726 over the last week, compared with 3,974 new cases in the previous week, government figures showed. Cases have been increasing since the end of May when there were 2,000 new infections a week.

Hospitalizations and deaths however remained relatively low.

Some 922 patients are being treated in hospital, of which 52 are in intensive care, with half not vaccinated. Some 1,300 cases were reinfections. Sixteen people died in the past week.

Dr. Rafila said Romania could return to reporting daily cases as opposed to weekly numbers if infections kept rising sharply. The country lifted pandemic restrictions in March.

The minister said that health officials currently recommend that people wear masks indoors and in crowded places.

Romania is the European Union’s second-least vaccinated member state after Bulgaria, with just over 42% of the population fully inoculated amid distrust of state institutions and poor vaccine education.

Romania has 8 million unused vaccine doses, he said.

At the height of the pandemic in October 2021, Romania topped global lists of coronavirus deaths per million. The pandemic has killed 65,755 people in the country of 19 million.

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