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Coronavirus, confirmed in Romania, authorities say no reason to panic

Person found positive with COVID-19 arrives at “Matei Bals” Institute in Bucharest

The man from Gorj County, found positive with the COVID-19 virus, arrived at the “Matei Bals” Institute in Bucharest.

According to official information, the transport was carried out under normal conditions for such situations and did not represent any danger to the patient, medical staff or other persons.

“The man who contracted the virus was transported with a SMURD special vehicle properly equipped and with conditions of total isolation of the patient. Also, during the transport, the patient was assisted, besides the medical personnel, by a crew specialized in situations of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear contamination,” states the quoted source.

The man will remain completely isolated from the rest of the patients at the “Matei Bals Institute”.

Medics have already established a treatment scheme, and his condition is good, with no specific symptoms.

 

Health Minister: First case of infection with the coronavirus confirmed in Romania. He is in good shape, no symptoms displayed

 

Health Minister Victor Costache stated on Tuesday night that the first case of infection with the coronavirus (COVID-19) confirmed in Romania is a man from a locality in Gorj County, who came in contact with the Italian citizen from Rimini who came to the area in the February 18-22 period, his condition being good, without presenting any symptoms.

“We are, unfortunately, able to announce that following testing conducted on the people in Gorj County, who came in contact with the Italian citizen from Rimini, we have the first confirmed case of COVID-19 infection on Romanian soil. The man is from a locality in Gorj County. Immediately after arriving in Bucharest, he will enter the treatment scheme and we hope for a positive evolution. The man’s health status is good, he does not manifest any symptoms and we must not be alarmed. We’re speaking of a totally asymptomatic person. We have another 33 tests in the works in the area, and we will communicate the results as soon as possible, Victor Costache told an extraordinary press conference held at the Interior Ministry (MAI).

Furthermore, Secretary of State Raed Arafat, head of the Department for Emergency Situations (DSU), said that the man, who does not show coughing or fever, will be taken this evening by a crew with the Dolj County Emergency Situations Inspectorate, using an isolation chamber fitted vehicle, and will be brought to the Matei Bals Infectious Disease Hospital in Bucharest.

According to Arafat, the family of the man in Gorj confirmed to have the virus is formed of 7 people, who have now entered isolation. He emphasized that the locality where the man lives will not be indicated, because “it’s the right thing to do”.

Minister Costache also showed that authorities are conducting an epidemiological enquiry in order to identify all the people that the man confirmed to have COVID-19 has interacted with in the past days.

According to the Health Minister, the man confirmed with coronavirus was in direct contact with the Italian, and he is to be tested again in hospital in the coming days. Furthermore, the seven people that have lived in-house with the patient will be subjected to testing again.

The minister added that there is a positive side, that “patient zero” has been identified and the fact that those he came in contact with are in a rural environment and not an urban agglomeration, and efficient measures can thus be taken.

In this context, State Secretary Raed Arafat emphasized that it is not an epidemic, but “we are speaking of a single case.”

“When the number of cases gets bigger, the approach is adapted to the situation. We do not want to give information that would lead to the patient. The direct message is that the virus is airborne, but you must be in close proximity for 15 minutes,” Arafat mentioned.

Both the DSU State Secretary, as well as Minister Costache emphasized that all seven people, this man’s relatives, were tested, the results coming back negative.

“All seven, according to information we have at this moment, have tested negative, yet given that the person who tested positive lived there and there was direct contact, all seven persons will remain at home, in isolation, under guard, and all necessities will be ensured, but they won’t be able to leave the house. They will remain in quarantine in the house for at least 14 days, after which they will be tested to establish if any of them is positive. If one of them shows symptoms in the 14 days, then that person is tested, if they are positive, then they are transported to hospital (…) They are quarantined, which means they are to have no form of contact, only with protected persons. When the Health Directorate comes to see them, they enter with complete protection gear,” Raed Arafat stated.

He added that the neighbors in the respective locality need to understand that these seven persons, being isolated at home, “cannot affect them or endanger them”.

“Already an important number of persons from that locality were tested and showed negative results, the same with the seven family members – negative, so we don’t expect a dramatic development, but we are ready for all scenarios (…) What must be understood is that at the world level there are tens of thousands of people already cured of this disease, there are others with no symptoms who have a light development of the disease. We hope that is our case too, in Gorj,” the Health Minister, Victor Costache, concluded.

 

President Iohannis, in the context of occurrence of coronavirus in Romania: There’s no reason to panic

 

President Klaus Iohannis gave assurances on Thursday that there is no real reason for panic in the context of the situation generated by the occurrence of coronavirus cases in Europe and a confirmed case in Romania, mentioning that the responsible institutions have taken all measures to prevent the spread of this virus in our country and limit its negative effects.

“Dear Romanians, it is normal to treat with all seriousness the situation generated by the occurrence of coronavirus cases in Europe and the confirmation of one case in Romania, but there is no real reason for panic. The infection with this virus provokes in most cases only light symptoms, sore throat, coughing and fever, just like any other cold. Thus, the natural behaviour that each of us should have now is to strictly apply the recommendations of the authorities and to constantly get informed from credible and official sources,” Iohannis wrote on Facebook.

According to him, the responsible institutions have taken the measures necessary to prevent the spread of this virus in Romania and to limit its negative effects.

“Let us be supportive in discouraging any attempts to create the sensational in these moments. The spreading of alarming news or even fake news can generate a panic epidemic, with negative consequences for our fellow citizens. Let us contribute responsibly to spreading useful prevention information and take care to protect the elderly and the more vulnerable, those who already suffer from chronic disease,” was the message sent by the head of state.

 

PNL’s Orban says no one should be scared of coronavirus in Romania

 

National leader of the National Liberal Party (PNL), acting Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, said on Thursday that Romanians should get informed about coronavirus from the official organisations providing such data, adding that the occurrence of this virus in Romania should not scare anyone.

“Unfortunately, in the media, online, a lot of information has emerged that is fake news and stirred up fear, panic, which is not normal. I think we have to deal with this situation responsibly and in the know; each and every Romanian citizen should get all the information they need from the institutions that provide this information to minimise the chance of contacting the virus and nobody should be scared. This is a virus that is known; the characteristics of this virus are very well known in the public presentations that have been made by specialists and epidemiologists and it should be treated normally, naturally, without any panic,” Orban said at a news conference.

He added that there is full mobilisation to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus epidemics and that measures have been taken, including institutionalised quarantine for those coming from outbreak areas, and quarantine by isolation at home.

“Many countries have not taken such measures. We have taken these measures to prevent the entry into Romania of the coronavirus and to limit the spread of this virus as much as possible,” said Orban, according to Agerpres.

 

Costache : 12 PR specialists on medical issues are to speak on television, online about coronavirus

 

Interim Health Minister Victor Costance on Thursday stated that a group of 12 communicators on medical topics has been created, led by Adrian Streinu Cercel and Alexandru Rafila, to speak on television and online about the coronavirus.

“We have created today a group of 12 PR specialists on medical topics (…), led by professors Adrian Streinu Cercel and Alexandru Rafila, to speak on television and online about the coronavirus,” said Costache, in the beginning of the Government meeting.

In his turn, interim PM Ludovic Orban said he designated Andi Manciu, state councilor in communication, to also get involved in the activity of this group.

“I asked them to communicate on all possible channels, on television, radio stations, especially online, because most fake news appear online, so that the citizens will know exactly how things are, they will know that this is not some unknown, untreatable virus, it’s not a virus that we cannot figure out.. (…) Also, identify all doctors who can communicate to debunk this virus, to explain on all possible communication channels what is this virus, what are the effects it produces, for the statistical data already show that it is a virus and we need to treat it with all attention and responsibility, try to prevent it, but it should not induce panic, people have nothing to be afraid of. This is another virus that appeared over time the same as many others and we need to explain these things,” said Orban.

Interim Minister of Interior Marcel Vela said 3,210 citizens have come to the country from Italy in the past 24 hours. He added that the structure changed: two thirds of them are coming through the road and railway border checkpoints and one third through air and that the number of persons coming by personal cars has increased.

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