Romania Struggles as COVID Death Toll, New Infections, Soar

Romanian authorities on Friday reported 13,854 new cases of people infected with COVID-19 in the last 24 hours while Thursday to Friday saw a new record death toll of 385 from COVID, raising the total death toll in the country to 38,927.

The Public Health Department on Friday said the number of infections of COVID-19 in Bucharest had increased to 12.24 per thousand.

Former Health Minister Nelu Tataru, the current adviser to interim Prime Minister Florin Citu, said the real infection rate could be five to ten times higher than that.

Only a week ago, the infection rate in Bucharest was 7.68 per thousand, and it was only 3.77 per thousand two weeks ago.

"I would not like to get to the point where Italy was in 2020, but the risks are great. We are seeing a drama in our hospitals, together with the people who come and their families," the manager of the Marius Nasta Institute, Beatrice Mahler, told Digi24 TV station.

She added that there are no more beds free in intensive care wards anywhere in the country.

"The number of deaths is increasing. With all the treatment and ventilation, it is highly frustrating to see young patients that you lose because the way it is evolving [COVID-19] is astonishing and fast," Mahler said.

Wednesday set a new record for the number of people who died from COVID-19 in Romania in just one day - 331.

The director of the vaccination campaign in Romania, military doctor Valeriu Gheorghita, said Romania was in much the same position as Italy was last year.

"I am afraid that we are already in this scenario. It is self-evident that hospitals and emergency units are assaulted, overwhelmed by patients with COVID, leaving aside the other categories of diseases, emergencies, burns, road...

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