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August 14, 2022
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Seven people die in fire at the Clinical Infectious Diseases Hospital Constanta

Seven people died in the fire at the Clinical Infectious Diseases Hospital Constanta, Interior Minister Lucian Bode (photo) announced on Friday.

Earlier, authorities had announced that 9 people had died in the fire in southeastern Constanta.

Lucian Bode also said that the firefighters intervened in 8 minutes at the fire at the Clinical Infectious Diseases Hospital Constanta, and in less than an hour the fire was extinguished.

“There were 10 patients in the ICU in the hospital. The investigators are currently checking whether or not the hospital had the obligation to have a fire safety permit. (…) The investigation was taken over by the Prosecutor’s Office with the Constanta Court,” Bode said.

 

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Constanta Prefect Cosa: First responders arrived at the Infectious Diseases Hospital within seven minutes of being alerted of a fire there

 

Constanta County Prefect Silviu Cosa said on Friday that the first responders arrived at the Infectious Diseases Hospital within seven minutes of being alerted of a fire there, and the head of the Constanta Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (ISU) said that checks conducted in February at the same hospital revealed technical and organisational irregularities.”Within seven minutes of the alert, the first responders arrived. A code red emergency plan was activated, along with code white for the hospitals that were to take over the victims. The response involved over 50 emergency vehicles, over 125 non-commissioned and commissioned officers. Officers from both ISU Dobrogea and neighbouring counties – Galati, Calarasi, Ialomita responded (…) The other patients have already been distributed to the Military Hospital, the County Hospital and the Pulmonary Care Hospital. Other hospitals – CFR, Medgidia, Mangalia – are on standby,” said the prefect.

In his turn, ISU Dobrogea Chief Inspector Mihail-Cristian Amarandei told journalists that in February an inspection was performed at all medical facilities, especially those that provided COVID-19 support, that revealed irregularities including at the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Constanta.

“Certain irregularities were also identified here, there were also technical and organisational issues,” said the ISU chief, who did not give further details.

He admitted that no checks had been carried out since then, pointing out that the deadline for fixing the problems was the end of the year.

Constanta Infectious Diseases Hospital manager Stela Halichidis said on Friday that the facility had all the legal approvals, and all the irregularities previously detected by ISU had been remedied.

“All the irregularities were fixed, everything worked according to the law. There were the necessary approvals, everything worked, but trouble happened. We will see how. (…) All the documents are in order, all the detected irregularities were remedied. There was nothing wrong. (…) The network was checked, it was not oversized. There was nothing extra besides the medical equipment, which operates under a maintenance contract,” said the hospital manager.

 

PM Citu asks Health Ministry solutions so that tragedies as the deadly fire that hit the Constanta Infectious Diseases Hospital never occur

 

Prime Minister Florin Citu, speaking about the deadly fire that hit the Constanta Infectious Diseases Hospital this morning, said that it is important that the Health Ministry “looks exactly at the short-term, immediate solutions”, so that such tragedies do not repeat.

“First of all, I want to offer my condolences to the families left grieving after the tragedy at the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Constanta. (…) Such things, such a tragedy in Romanian hospitals is unacceptable, yet this is a reality we are trying to change this year after long years during which almost nothing has been done for the Romanian health system. I will not comment now on the fire, we are waiting for complete information to see exactly what happened. Just as a few months ago I asked the Health Ministry to prepare for the 4th Covid wave, and then requested an inquiry into these preparations, at this point it is important that the Health Ministry looks exactly at the short term, immediate solutions, so that such tragedies do not happen again,” Florin Citu said today at the Victoria Palace of Government.

 

PM requests removal of manager of Clinical Infectious Diseases Hospital Constanta, removes ANMCS chairman

 

Prime Minister Florin Citu announced on Friday that he asked for the removal of the manager of the Clinical Infectious Diseases Hospital in Constanta, Stela Halichidis, and that he removed the chairman of the National Authority for Quality Management in Health (ANMCS).

“I have made two decisions. First, I called the mayor of Constanta, Virgil Chitac and asked for the removal of the manager of the Infectious Diseases Hospital. At the same time, I signed an order through which I removed the chairman of ANMCS, who, since in position has not made any evaluation and it was his job to evaluate the accreditation of the hospitals in Romania,” the PM said, at Victoria Palace.

 

Constanta Infectious Diseases Hospital hasn’t requested fire safety permit, although it had legal obligation

 

The General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (IGSU) First Deputy Cristian Radu said on Friday that the Constanta Clinical Infectious Diseases Hospital did not submit the necessary documents to obtain the fire safety permit, although the unit’s management had been officially notified since 2017 regarding this obligation.

According to IGSU, various works were carried out at the hospital mentioned above, since 2004, which were not subject to the approval-authorization process.

“Thus, we identified that in 2007 there was a receipt report upon completion of the works which, from the point of view of the specifics of those works put in place, entailed this obligation,” explained Cristian Radu, in a press conference.

He specified that in 2017, during a control, the representatives of ISU Constanta communicated to the hospital management the legal obligation to obtain this authorization.

“The way in which it was officially communicated was in 2017, during a control of my colleagues from ISU Constanta, who communicated this obligation to the hospital management, they officially communicated it, and thereafter, the documentation and the project through which those works were put in place were not submitted. Consequently, at this moment, we conclude that there is no request or a submission of papers or documents requesting that a fire safety permit be obtained, although this obligation was born in 2007, when the works that are subject to this legal provision were commissioned,” first deputy of IGSU Cristian Radu also said.

In his turn, the head of the Department for Emergency Situations, Raed Arafat, showed that this sanitary unit was checked by ISU both in 2020 and in February 2021, irregularities being found during the last control such as improvisations and malfunction of the fire signaling installation.

 

President Iohannis: I am terrified to hear about this tragedy

 

President Klaus Iohannis on Friday sent a message of condolences to the families of the victims of the fire that broke out at the Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Constanta and asked the PM and the Minister of Health to take all the necessary measures and “do everything in their power” to prevent any other accidents from ever happening in the hospitals in the country.

“I am terrified to hear about the tragedy that occurred this morning at the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Constanta. It’s a terrible tragedy that confirms that the Romanian healthcare system has a deficient infrastructure, an old one, which is under an imaginable pressure under the 4th wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. I send my condolences to the mourning families and wish them to be strong during such very painful moments. I also wish fast recovery to all patients and the medical personnel who suffered from the fire. It is impossible to imagine the suffering of all these people who came to hospital hoping that they will be cured,” said the head of state, in a press release of the Presidential Administration.

 

Moment of silence requested by President Iohannis in Aachen for the victims of the deadly hire that hit at the Constanta Infectious Diseases Hospital

 

A moment of silence in memory of those who died in the deadly fire that hit at the Constanta Infectious Diseases Hospital was held in Aachen, where President Klaus Iohannis delivered a speech.

The head of state is present in Germany as he is due to receive the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen for the Unity of Europe, on Saturday.

“I will start with a sad piece of information. Today a great misfortune took place in Romania, in a hospital in Constanta and unfortunately seven patients died. I kindly ask you all to keep together a moment of silence for the victims of the fire at Constanta Hospital,” Iohannis said, according to the official translation.

 

HM Margareta, message following tragedy in Constanta: Such things should not happen again

 

Margareta, Custodian of the Crown of Romania sent on Friday a message of condolences to the grieving families, wished a speedy recovery to all those affected by the fire at the Constanta Infectious Diseases Hospital and stressed that such things do not happen again.

“I learned with grief about the tragedy at the Constanta Infectious Diseases Hospital, where patients lost their lives in a fire. My family and I extend our condolences to the bereaved families and wish a speedy recovery to all those affected by the fire. In the last period, similar tragedies took place at the Piatra Neamt County Hospital and at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases “Matei Bals” in the Capital. Although doctors and medical staff work tirelessly to save lives, such tragedies show us that the health infrastructure in our country still leaves much to be desired. We must learn from this pain without delay so that such things do not happen again!,” Her Majesty Margareta conveyed in her message.

 

Sanitas Federation: ICU sections are not done on command, support no improvisations!

 

The ICU sections are not done on command and support no improvisations, emphasize the representatives of the Sanitas Federation in Romania, in a message posted on the Facebook page of the organization in the context of the fire that took place on Friday at the Clinical Infectious Diseases Hospital Constanta.

“No earlier than yesterday [Thursday – ed.n.], Prime Minister Citu threatened managers with losing their jobs if they don’t solve the problem of ICU beds. Someone should tell the Prime Minister that ICU sections are not done on command and support no improvisations!,” the release of the Sanitas Federation mentions.

The trade union, which operates in the medical domain, draws attention that the Government does not have a coherent strategy to solve the issue of old infrastructure in healthcare units.

“We can’t help but say, for the millionth time, that the same thing [a fire – e.n.] can happen at anytime in another hospital in Romania, given that health institutions are forced to function in buildings with old infrastructure (over 80-90 years old!), incapable of facing the technical demands and the safety concerns of patients. There is no coherent strategy at the level of the Government and no adequate management of resources to solve this structural issue in the public healthcare system! On the other hand, the government is a ‘champion’ of specific decisions, made ‘on the fly’, that try to patch up the system only when and where it fails!,” the Sanitas release reads.

The medical trade union is sending its support to grieving families and hospital staff that will do everything possible to limit the catastrophe.

“A new collective tragedy makes Romania mourn! A fire started this morning in the ICU section of the Constanta Infectious Disease Hospital led to the death of at least nine patients. We are with the families that have lost their loved ones and together with the staff in the hospital that is doing everything humanly possible to limit the disaster!,” the Sanitas Federation release shows.

 

Compiled from Agerpres

Photo: www.just.ro

 

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