Romania’s health minister says hospitals struggling to cope with rising numbers of critically ill Covid-19 patients

Foto: INQUAM/Virgil SImionescu

Romania’s health minister says the country’s hospitals are struggling to cope with a rising number of seriously ill Covid-19 patients.

Vlad Voiculescu said on Sunday that there are more 1,450 critical care hospital beds occupied in Romania by coronavirus patients,

Authorities are scrambling to make more beds available amid a rise in new cases with 1,456 out of a total of 1,600 beds currently occupied.

One-third of patients have a case of Covid-19 so severe that they need to be intubated and placed on a ventilator, he said.

“We have a second day of record numbers,” the minister said. “I’m sorry that these holidays (Easter) fall under the shadow of the pandemic.”

He said there were currently 13,000 Covid-19 patients being treated in hospital. Romania reported 97 Covid-19 related deaths on Sunday, the lowest single-day figure since March 22.

“We are seeing a rise in cases, we are seeing people getting sick who don’t have underlying health conditions. We are seeing whole families who need hospital treatment,” he said.

Romania has seen a spike in cases in recent weeks, and has regularly reported more than 6,000 cases a day.

The minister said there were 167 children with the virus who had been hospitalized. Sixteen of those are in intensive care units. Two of the youngsters  have been intubated and placed on a ventilator.

The minister said he was worried about running out of places in ICUs.

“I’d like to stress that transporting critically ill patients on long distances is risky,” he said. “This is only a solution when there aren’t alternatives.”

He said the number of intensive care beds would be increased in mobile units and in some hospitals in Bucharest.


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