Romania to Send Covid Patients Abroad With Hospitals Full
(Bloomberg) -- Romania is preparing to send Covid-19 patients abroad as its hospitals are overrun by the worst surge in infections since the pandemic erupted.
The country, where vaccinations trail only Bulgaria within the European Union, is in talks with neighboring Hungary and others to facilitate transfers under safe conditions, Deputy Interior Minister Raed Arafat said Friday.
It’s also opening more field hospitals and retooling existing facilities to handle an influx of serious virus cases, with daily deaths topping the EU in the last week.
The situation is so severe that the authorities have begun comparing it to Italy in the early days of the pandemic.
“We’re now waiting for our Hungarian counterparts to gives us the details of the transfer mechanism and to see how many patients we can send and in what conditions,” Arafat said. “Of course we won’t be able to send the severely ill ones because they may not survive the travel.”
More than 1,000 patients have requested to be transfered abroad, he said.
While Romania is the hardest-hit EU member state at present, others in the bloc’s east are also seeing conditions worsen. To tackle record new cases, Latvia is considering a three-month state of emergency that would include some vaccine mandates and restrictions on the retail industry. Bulgaria is seeing the most new infections and deaths since April, with just a fifth of its population fully vaccinated.
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