Hungary has offered neighboring Romania help in caring for coronavirus patients as the country faces a huge surge in cases. A shortage of intensive-care beds has almost overwhelmed its health care system in recent days.
Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto sent a letter over the weekend offering assistance to Romania in treating Covid-19, Hungary’s foreign ministry said.
“Negotiations are under way between the Romanian and Hungarian sides on the concrete form of the assistance,” the ministry was quoted as saying on Thursday.
Romania has the second-lowest vaccination rate in the European Union. About one-third of adults are immunized.
Romanian vaccination coordinator Valeriu Gheorghita on Thursday compared the virus crisis to that of Italy at the start of the pandemic.
“It is very obvious that hospitals and emergency units are assaulted, overwhelmed by patients with Covid,” he said. He added that increased hospitalizations had relegated other health-care needs.
Daily cases have exploded over the past week, with all-time highs around 15,000 for the past three days. There were a record 331 deaths on Wednesday.
Intensive care wards are treating more than 1,500 patients and there’s aren’t enough ICU beds to cope with growing numbers of seriously ill patients.
Romania has asked the EU for help through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. President Klaus Iohannis called on Wednesday called the situation “a catastrophe.”
In Hungary, some two-thirds of the population’s 10 million people are fully vaccinated.