Prime Minister Ludovic Orban (photo L) said on Friday that Romania took extremely serious measures from minute one to combat the epidemic with the new coronavirus, while acknowledging that our country was not prepared initially and had a limited diagnostic capacity.
“On 25 or 26 February, in Romania there was one case, in Spain there were two cases, in France there were a few cases. Look at the number of cases in Romania, a little over a thousand. If we take into account those who are cured, we have below a thousand patients suffering from COVID-19, while in the other countries the number of infected persons is in the order of tens of thousands. Romania, from minute, took extremely serious measures. After the Chinese New Year, when thousands of Chinese citizens came to Romania, there was no outbreak. There was also something specific in relation to that did not occur in other European countries. Over two hundred thousand Romanians came back to Romania most of them from countries seriously affected by the epidemic. If we had not taken severe quarantine measures, either institutionalized quarantine or isolation at home, the spread would have been very high in Romania,” Orban said after a meeting with the new Health minister Nelu Tataru, at the Health Ministry.
He added that Romania has taken measures that have yielded results, such as closing schools and protecting the elderly.
“We introduced the obligation of conduction prompt epidemiological investigations around each diagnosed case, a measure that has limited the spread of the virus, we took almost all measures before other countries that were more affected by the coronavirus epidemic,” said Orban, according to Agerpres.
Referring to coronavirus cases, the prime minister showed that Romania was not prepared initially, and the diagnostic capacity was limited.
“I do not mean the casuistry. We have a relatively small number of deaths, below the mortality level in other countries. Usually, those who died had other underlying conditions, something that occurred in other countries, as well. Romania was not ready. We started with a Real Time PCR, we gradually expanded. I think at the beginning of next week we will have the capacity to increase the number of tests to 2,000,” said Orban.
He called on the Minister of Health to urgently distribute the quantities of test kits purchased from South Korea, in order to increase the testing capacity.
Premier Orban reiterated that people cannot be tested at random.
“We cannot establish randomly the people to be diagnosed. The stories that circulate that we are beginning to select 10 thousand people to test are stories. There is a procedure, there are prioritization criteria, there is an order of priorities regarding the testing of persons, which is determined based on the way the cases evolve and our diagnostic capacity,” the prime minister further said.
“Same line of actions to be maintained in the fight against the new coronavirus”
Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said on Friday that the same lines of action will be maintained in the fight against the new coronavirus, the fundamental goal being to defend the health and life of the citizens, to reduce the spread of the virus and to improve diagnostic capacity.
Orban made these clarifications after a meeting held at the Ministry of Health.
“I wanted to be present in person as the Minister of Health, Nelu Tataru takes office. We have discussed the priorities for the Ministry of Health in the next period, we are certainly maintaining the same lines of action. Our main goal is to defend the health and life of the Romanian citizens, to reduce the spread of the virus, to increase the diagnostic capacity of public health departments so as to cope with the fundamental mission they have in the fight against the coronavirus, and to prepare hospitals for receiving patients with coronavirus,” said Orban .
The prime minister went on to say that talks also focused on measures regarding the medical staff.
“We have discussed the urgency of purchasing protective equipment to protect all those in the public health system who are involved in the fight against coronavirus and also to protect medical and non-medical staff in hospitals, to protect the representatives of Public Health Directorates,” added Orban.
The prime minister mentioned that he personally conveyed to the minister Nelu Tataru the request to distribute protective equipment, disinfectants to the network of family and outpatient medics, as well.
HealthMin Tataru: Procedures have to be re-initiated at local level; tougher weeks ahead
Minister of Health Nelu Tataru on Friday acknowledged the importance of “re-initiating”, at local level, the procedures that both medical staff and public health directorates, hospital managers and local authorities have to put into practice and observe, in the context of the new coronavirus.
“The Suceva outbreak does not change at all the attitude we have had, except that at the local level many things have to be changed. At the local level, procedures need to be re-initiated that both the medical staff and the DSPs, the hospital management but also the local authorities have to put into practice, have to observe,” said Tataru, at the end of a working meeting with Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, at the Ministry of Health.
According to the Minister of Health, medical personnel will have priority in testing.
“At the level of the sanitary units in phase 1, phase 2 and later on phase 3, we will provide the necessary equipment, sanitary materials and sanitary protection equipment, as well as that number of tests for all those who, according to an epidemiological investigation, enter a test protocol. I should mention – the medical staff will take priority in this testing. We take care of our staff, we have to take care of our staff. Tougher weeks are still ahead of us, there will be severe cases, there will be critical cases, but we will go through this period and we will come out stronger,” the minister said, according to Agerpres.
Nelu Tataru said that the testing should be done according to epidemiological investigations, but they must be performed “correctly and broadly”.
He said there are protocols currently in place that require people who come to hospitals with respiratory infection and have tested negative for influenza to be tested for coronavirus.