A Romanian doctor who saved Covid-19 patients after a blaze broke out at a regional hospital now finds himself under investigation in connection with the deadly fire.
Catalin Denciu was declared a hero for his role in helping patients to safety when ten Covid-19 patients died a fire in mid-November 2020. Six others were seriously injured.
Romanian prosecutors announced Tuesday they were pursuing charges against six former hospital mangers, two doctors and two nurses in connection with the blaze.
Dr Denciu who was working a 24-hour shift at the intensive care unit at the Neamt County Hospital is charged with making contradictory statements which allegedly aided individuals responsible for the blaze.
They say he is suspected of making false statements about the way the patients were treated during the blaze which hampered the inquiry.
Then Romanian Premier Ludovic Orban praised Dr Denciu after the blaze calling him “the heroic doctor who showed particular courage and spirit of sacrifice in trying to save the patients.”
The fire was caused by a candle which ignited in the intensive care unit which had high levels of oxygen.
Dr. Denciu suffered second and third degree burns to 40% of his body and was transferred to Belgium’s Queen Astrid military hospital for specialized treatment. He spent three weeks in an induced coma.
In March, he was transferred to the Saint-Luc University Hospital, Brussels for further treatment on the long road to recovery. Coincidentally, he worked as an anesthetist there when he was a junior doctor.
Romania has one of the EU’s weakest healthcare infrastructures. Tens of thousands of doctors and nurses have left since the country joined the EU in 2007.