The National Public Health Institute’s National Center for the Surveillance and Control of Communicable Diseases reported on Thursday Romania’s first two flu deaths this season – a 25-year-old woman from Bucharest, without pre-existing medical conditions and not vaccinated against influenza, who was confirmed with the influenza virus type A, subtype H3, and a 50-year-old woman, also from Bucharest, who suffered from pre-existing medical conditions but was not vaccinated for the flu, who was confirmed with influenza A H1.
Flu season peak to occur between January 15 and February 10
Health minister Alexandru Rafila said on Thursday that the peak of the flu season is likely to occur between January 15 and February 10.
“The flu season this year is delayed by several weeks. (…) It is possible for the peak to occur between January 15 and February 10, after which the number of respiratory virus cases, flu included, will drop. It’s the third epidemic week,” Rafila told a press conference that was also attended by Education minister Ligia Deca.
According to Rafila, the flu positivity rate recorded in the week of December 26 – January 1 is 37 percent, up from 32 percent the week before.
HealthMin Rafila: We are under epidemiological alert, I prefer recommendations to restrictions
Minister of Health Alexandru Rafila declared on Thursday that Romania is currently under epidemiological alert in the context of the increase in the number of respiratory infections and clinically confirmed cases of influenza, specifying that he is not declaring an epidemic, since it would imply a return to “certain restrictions”, such as those during the pandemic with the novel coronavirus.
The minister stated that the week of December 26 – January 1 is the third “epidemic” week.
“According to the provisions of Law 95, there is an epidemiological alert, because declaring the epidemic based on a ministerial order would put us in a situation where… There is a law adopted during the pandemic, Law 136, and this law automatically generates, by the issuance of a ministerial order, certain restrictions. (…) You saw that our approach was one that would support the normal course of economic and social activity, keep schools open, not to introduce issues related to quarantine, isolation, because issuing a ministerial order would have generated such a situation. Then, I prefer to adopt, because it is not a dramatic situation, it is a situation – if you want – without precedent in this period. You have seen that in other periods, for example, 5 years ago or 10 years ago, in February, we had more cases of respiratory viruses. We also reached 170,000 cases of respiratory viruses per week. It is earlier than in other periods,” explained Rafila.
He said that he prefers issuing recommendations instead of restrictions.
EduMin Deca: Schools will be reopened on January 9, we do not encourage non-attendance of courses
Schools will be reopened on January 9, according to the schedule, the minister of Education, Ligia Deca, said on Thursday, adding that non-attendance of courses is not encouraged.
“The educational process will start again from January 9, next Monday, as provided for in the structure of the school year. We do not encourage non-attendance of courses in any way. We believe that, after two pandemic years, it is very important to keep the pace and have a high percentage of participation in courses. We believe that the focus, as we discussed with the minister of Health, must be on prevention,” said Ligia Deca, in a joint press conference with minister of Health Alexandru Rafila, in the context of the large number of cases of flu from our country.
She mentioned the daily screening of families as well as at the entrance to school or kindergarten and added that it is recommended to wear a protective mask for teachers and students, emphasizing the importance of respecting hygiene norms.
“We want all children to have access to education and if they show respiratory symptoms to have as short a period as possible, which is later recovered, of isolation at home,” the minister pointed out.
Compiled from Agerpres