Romanian authorities scramble to find ICU beds as Covid cases, deaths soar

Foto: INQUAM/Octav Ganea

Romanian emergency services chief Raed Arafat says authorities are getting more beds in intensive care units as cases continue to soar in Romania, causing alarm among authorities.

Romania has reported more than 14,000 cases  day for the past three days and hundreds of deaths. The fourth wave is expected to pass in December or January, Dr Arafat said Thursday.

Some 282 patients died in the past day, after a daily record toll of 331 on Wednesday.

There are 1,556 patients being treated in ICU, of which 22 are children.

With hospitals running out of beds for the seriously sick, Raed Arafat, who is the head of the Department for Emergency Situations said hospitals might use modular units to treat patients who need intensive care.

He said there were already modular units in the Black Sea port city of Constanta in eastern Romania and in the southwest city of Timisoara.

Seven Covid patients died last week when a fire broke out at an intensive care unit in a hospital in Constanta. Timisoara has been among the worst affected by the pandemic, with consistently high figures.

In addition, Romania has a number of mobile intensive care units. Two are currently in use and three are on standby, as long as there are health staff to operate them, he said.

He said the health ministry would also use 120 junior doctors who are trained in intensive care. They have yet to take their final exams.  “The exams will be postponed until January,” he said.

“They haven’t taken the final exam but they will be very useful in combating this virus,” he said.

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