Romanian hospital suspected of COVID-19 cover-up after medic infected staff, patients, official says

Foto: INQUAM/Octav Ganea

A hospital in southern Romania has been accused of trying to deliberately conceal the case of a medic who had coronavirus and infected staff and patients at the facility.

The doctor, Felix Sarboiu, a vascular surgeon, had coronavirus symptoms but continued to come to work and operate on patients. He apparently refused to wear protective clothing and is suspected of subsequently infecting 23 people at the hospital, authorities said.

The prefect of Arges county, Emanuel Soare, on Sunday claimed the managers at the Arges County Hospital tried to hide the case.

“The hospital tried to cover up. We did a review which was sent to the (health) minister, and there will be some management changes,” Soare told Digi24. Thirteen medical staff and 10 patients tested positive for the virus.

Prosecutors are investigating the medic on charges that didn’t take preventive measures even though he had symptoms, and spread the virus. He tested positive on Tuesday.

Hospital Manager Adriana Molfea said she’d asked Sarboiu to go into quarantine and get tested, but he’d refused.

The head of local public health department has been fired over the case and replaced by a military doctor.

The prefect said the facility failed to respect basic protocols. He said that despite having stocks of protection equipment, some of the equipment went missing and a number of health staff didn’t use the equipment.

Sarboiu is head of the Vascular Surgery Department, which is currently closed for disinfection


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