Romania’s SARS-CoV-2 caseload increased by 3,611 in the last 24 hours following more than 14,000 tests performed nationwide, the Strategic Communication Group (GCS) reports on Monday.
These are all cases that have not previously had a positive test, the GCS states.
As of today there were 977,986 cases of novel coronavirus infection confirmed in Romania, of which 875,487 were declared cured.
According to the GCS, 6,825,004 RT-PCR tests and 648,373 rapid antigen tests have been processed nationwide, with 8,452 RT-PCR tests run in the last 24 hours (6,013 based on the case definition and medical protocol and 2,439 on request); as many as 5,851 rapid antigen tests were also conducted in the past 24 hours.
A total of 690 people were also retested and reconfirmed positive with COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
1,478 patients in ICUs, from 14,165 hospitalised
As many as 14,165 people with COVID-19 are admitted to health facilities, of whom 1,478 are in intensive care, the Strategic Communication Group (GCS) announced on Monday.
Per total, 65,775 people confirmed with SARS-CoV-2 infection are in isolation at home and 16,635 are in institutional isolation on Romania’s territory, the GCS added.
Also, 48,144 people are in quarantine at home and 99 are in institutional quarantine, the GCS said.
Romania’s death toll rises by 120 to 24,190
Another 120 Romanians, 64 men and 52 women, infected with SARS-CoV-2 died in the last 24 hours, according to data released on Monday by the Strategic Communication Group (GCS), the official novel coronavirus communication task force.
Of these, two deaths were recorded in the 30-39 years age category, 5 deaths in the 40-49 age category, 7 deaths in the 50-59 years age group, 41 deaths in the 60-69 years age group, 35 deaths in the 70-79 years age group and 30 deaths in the over 80 years age group.
As many as 116 of the deaths were recorded in patients who had co-morbidities, and for four patients who died no co-morbidities have been reported so far.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 24,190 people diagnosed with COVID-19 have died in Romania, along with 189 Romanian nationals abroad.
Ilfov County, Bucharest stay in red zone, despite dip in incidence rate
Ilfov County has a 14-day cumulative COVID infection rate of 8.97 per thousand population, down from 9.17 the previous day, shows data released on Monday by the Strategic Communication Group (GCS).
In Bucharest the infection incidence rate is 6.83 per thousand population, slightly less compared to the previous day (6.85).
The other counties in the red high-risk infection zone are Cluj – 6.37, Timis – 5.14, Brasov – 4.98, Hunedoara – 4.57, Constanta – 4.27, Alba – 3.80, Arad – 3.65, Sibiu – 3.45, Galati – 3.31, Giurgiu – 3.23, Bihor – 3.12, Valcea – 3.11.
According to GCS, Bucharest registers the most newly confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 compared to the last report – 1,063, followed by the counties of Cluj – 218, Ilfov – 195, Constanta – 184, and Brasov – 179.
New SARS-CoV-2 stem presenting E48K mutation identified in Romania
The new coronavirus version, presenting both the characteristics of the British strain B1.1.7, and the E484K mutation, which according to some studies can reduce the effectiveness of vaccines against the virus, has been identified in Romania, based on sequencing performed at the “Stefan cel Mare” University of Suceava (USV), shows a press release sent to AGERPRES, on Monday, by the spokesperson of this academic institution, Codrut Serban.
According to the same source, the biological sample was collected at the Suceava County Emergency Hospital, from a patient without a recent history of travel to UK.
”For the three worrying variants known to be from the United Kingdom (line B.1.1.7, name VOC202012/01), South Africa (line B.1.351, name 501Y.V2 15) and Brazil (line P .1, name P.1), the Institute of Public Health of England added, in February, a new version of the virus (line B.1.1.7 + E484K, name VOC202102/02). Although the number of cases identified with the new version (B.1.1.7 + E484K) is currently relatively low (only 43 cases are presented in the British Report of 1 April 2021), the main concern comes from the ability of the versions presenting the E484K mutation to show greater resistance to vaccine-generated antibodies, thus reducing the effectiveness of vaccines. In March, the new version (B.1.1.7 + E484K) was introduced as a version of concern (VoC) also in the list of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which monitors the epidemiological situation at the European Union level. In a statement issued on Sunday, April 4, by the Reuters agency, the concern regarding the spread of this version is also presented in Japan, approximately 70pct of the sequenced samples from a hospital in Tokyo presenting this mutation,’ specified the USV press release.
During the Laboratory of Metagenomics and Molecular Biology of the “Stefan cel Mare” University of Suceava (USV), over the last two weeks, sequencing was performed for a number of 91 samples, from patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, in the counties of Suceava, Cluj, Iasi, Timis and Botosani.
From the analyzed samples, a number of 88 new cases were detected belonging to strains of epidemiological interest B.1.1.7 (VOC 202012/01), known to be originating in the United Kingdom, and one case belonging to strains B.1.1.7 + E484K.
To date, USV has sequenced over 400 samples from patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 and will continue to monitor the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in Romania, in collaboration with its partners.
”Based on the collaboration agreements concluded so far, samples are selected from hospitals located in the counties of Suceava, Timis, Cluj, Dolj, Iasi, Botosani, Neamt and we express our willingness to collaborate with other institutions with COVID-19 compartments, in other counties, as well, to analyze the special situations and perform the corresponding genetic analyzes,’ the USV representatives show.
The current sequencing activity at USV is partially funded by the Executive Unit for the Financing of Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation through the project “SARS-CoV-2 genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of circulating strains in Romania,” coordinated by university professor Mihai Covasa, PhD, being co-financed by USV.