Hundreds of health professionals infected with COVID-19 after major outbreak in northern Romanian hospital

Foto: INQUAM/Octav Ganea

Romania has 285 healthcare professionals who have been infected with the coronavirus, with chronic underfunding and a lack of equipment to blame for the situation.

The vast majority of cases are in a hospital in the northern city of Suceava where an outbreak among staff led to 181 professionals, including 43 doctors and 90 nurses and nursing assistants catching the virus.

The Suceava County Hospital was temporarily shut for disinfection after the outbreak with the hospital’s 124 patients being tested for the virus.

An internal inquiry at the hospital has uncovered mismanagement and irregularities in testing procedures. The manager and the medical director were fired  last week over the outbreak.

The former health minister Victor Costache quit last week after it emerged that a large number of doctors and nurses had tested positive amid a lack of equipment.

Romania’s health-care system is chronically underfunded, leaving medics exposed to the virus.

The Strategic Communications group said Monday that 91 doctors. 90 nurses, 26 auxiliary staff, eight carers and 70 other healthcare workers had tested positive for the virus since the outbreak.

Bucharest has the next most infections, with 45 medical staff testing positive. In the western county of Hunedoara, 15 health professionals have been diagnosed with the disease.

Romania said on Monday there were almost 2,000 cases of coronavirus, and 47 deaths from COVID-19/

Some hospitals say their facilities lack protective equipment such as masks and protective clothing.


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