Covid-19. Romania is seeing a second wave, top medic says

Foto: INQUAM/George Călin

Romania is now seeing “a second wave” of Covid-19, a top medic said on Wednesday.

Prof. Alexandru Rafila, Romania’s representative at the World Health Organization, said the country was “at a point of widespread community transmission” following a spike in cases in recent days.

The term is used to describe the situation where a person is infected by the virus but they have not traveled abroad or been in recent contact with other confirmed cases.

It basically means authorities are unable to trace the source of the infection.

Prof. Rafila said many EU countries had entered “a second wave and we are basically in the same position” only Romania consistently had a high number of cases through the summer “and linear growth,” he told Digi24 TV.

Prof. Rafila said he was concerned about the high percentage of positive tests. On Sunday it was 20% and on Wednesday it was more than 8%.

“This makes me think we are at a point where there is intense community infection, and we can’t rule out having more than 2,000 cases a day this week.”

Romania reported a record high 2,158 cases on Wednesday with the capital Bucharest registering 401 infections, double the usual figures.

Countries across Europe are seeing a resurgence in Covid-19 cases after successfully slowing outbreaks early in the year, Prof. Rafila, who is also head of the Matei Bals National Institute for Infectious Diseases’ laboratory told Digi24 TV.

Some countries including Romania, Albania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Montenegro, North Macedonia saw higher case numbers in August than they did earlier in the year.

Romanian hospitals no longer have free places for Covid-19 patients which hasn’t happened since the pandemic reached Romania on March, Prof. Rafila said.

He said that 55% of beds in intensive care units reserved for Covid-19 patients were full.

“If this percentage begins to increase in an accelerated rhythm, we could have some very serious problems.”

“Things are getting complicated and we have to be careful to not get into a situation like France, Spain or Italy,” he said.

France, the UK, Poland, the Netherlands and Spain are also likely dealing with the much-feared second wave and have started taking action to curb it.

While on the face of it infection numbers might be higher, it could also be accounted for by the increase in testing, as many countries didn’t have the capacity to carry out a higher number of tests earlier in the year.

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