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HealthMin Tataru: The coronavirus pandemic is controllable now, the COVID-support hospitals will resume their pre-outbreak activity

Health Minister Nelu Tataru said that as the coronavirus pandemic is controllable at this moment, the COVID-support hospitals will resume their pre-outbreak activity once the number of patients lessens and after the public health directorates conduct an analysis of the situation.

“The pandemic is controllable at the moment, but thanks to our cooperation with the population. We have the tools, we have the regulations in place, but the population must respect these rules. We have passed the peak, we are on a downward slope (…), the daily increase is insignificant or there is just a slight alternating trend that however is headed for a progressive decrease in the number of cases. At this moment we have less than 5,000 active cases out of a total of approximately 18,600. Thanks to the civic spirit proven, the safety regulations imposed as per the decisions of the National Council for Emergency Situations, a favorable evolution is visible, we are not in a situation to worry about. But those precautions must be observed, and the population must understand that any relaxation measure is done gradually, progressively, and that we also have some countermeasures for the event the situation takes an unfavorable turn,” Tataru told broadcaster Digi24 on Friday evening.

According to the Health Minister, life could return to “quasi-normalcy” somewhere in July – August, but preparations are underway “for the event of a second wave, and they will be proportionate to its magnitude”.

“For a potential re-ignition of the pandemic, we have the same hospitals that were on duty during phase 1 and 2, infectious disease and pneumology hospitals, we have the support hospitals in stand-by plus the phase 3 facilities – county hospitals which are the most complex, the best equipped for non-COVID pathology. Let me tell you that the hospitals currently assigned to COVID support will be also reassigned for non-COVID diseases once the circuits are redone, the number of patients decreases or even reaches zero. We will make specific decisions for each separate hospital. We received notifications and requests and we have already instructed the restoration of the circuits and the re-directing of these facilities towards non-COVID pathology,” Tataru explained.

The HealthMin also said that he has asked all the Public Health Directorates to assess for every support hospital the possibility to have COVID patients placed in a separate ward and return the rest of the facility to the usual activity.

 

National Public Health Institute working on readjustment of COVID-19 testing protocol

 

Health Minister Nelu Tataru declared on Friday that the National Public Health Institute (INSP) is working to readjust the testing protocol for the novel coronavirus.

“INSP is currently working to readjust this testing protocol, my request was that testing be widened beyond the categories stipulated now, senior homes, care staff, those who come from certain areas with outbreaks, pregnant women who come out of isolation, cancer patients preparing for transplant surgery, those on dialysis, contacts of certain people, medical staff with no risky contacts and who do not show symptoms, to have them tested and retested at an interval of about 7 – 14 days, for us to be able to clear the outbreaks that are now in hospitals, but also to keep the hospitals clean,” Tataru said in a interview with broadcaster Digi24.

He added that the protocol now requires testing for all the people institutionalized in seniors homes, and that care staff are tested every two weeks.

Asked about the location of outbreaks in the country, Tataru said that there is a community transmission outbreak in two localities in Galati County, where 8,000 – 9,000 people are being quarantined. He also mentioned Arctic Gaesti and a Sebes-based ice cream factory, adding that with epidemiological investigations underway and with identifiable communities, which can be investigated, the outbreaks can be contained.

The Health Minister also warned against a certain relaxation that has set in in some medical facilities, as this can lead to mistakes.

“With the improvement of the situation in terms of protective equipment, a certain relaxation has set in and precautions may no longer be observed so carefully, and this can lead to accidents, so to speak,” Tataru said, according to Agerpres.

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