Doctors advocate vaccinations

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Medical staff prepare to vaccinate locals as part of Romania’s “Vaccination Marathon” at the National Library during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bucharest, Romania, on May 9, 2021. Image: Cristian Cristel / Xinhua via Getty Images
  • The European country Romania has seen a record spike in COVID-19.
  • Romania has a low vaccination rate; only 37% of the population are fully vaccinated.
  • The country’s health system is so overwhelmed that doctors describe the desperation of the situation in an open letter.
  • The government offers incentives to encourage citizens to get vaccinated.

COVID-19 cases are increasing in many parts of the world, and Romania has the highest number of cases since the pandemic began. So many people in Romania are hospitalized on the condition that the country recently turned to the North Atlantic Compact Organization (NATO) for help.

Doctors in Romania have made a public plea that they are “desperate” as infections and deaths continue to rise Associated press reported. the Letter was published on the official website of CMMB, a medical professional organization based in Bucharest.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of COVID-19 cases in Romania began to rise sharply over the summer.

To date, WHO reports that Romania – a country of 19 million people – has had over 1.6 million cases of COVID-19, of which around 46,400 resulted in death.

Almost 25% of these cases were diagnosed in the last month.

In data maintained by Johns Hopkins University, Romania’s current case-to-death ratio is 2.87%. This is higher than in other parts of the European Union (EU), such as the UK, which has a death rate of 1.57%.

On October 10th, the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis spoke out about the rise in cases. “I received today’s data on the pandemic. We have nearly 15,000 cases. Unfortunately we have over 330 dead today. It is a disaster, ”said President Iohannis.

Currently, the average 7-day rate of daily cases in Romania is almost 14,000.

About 90% of patients who recently died from COVID-19 complications had not received the vaccine.

Stephen McGrath, a journalist living in Romania who works for international media organizations and has reported on the coronavirus pandemic in the country, spoke with MNT.

“The coronavirus situation in Romania was critical last month,” said McGrath.

“The country’s health system is on the verge of collapse and is overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, most of whom are unvaccinated. Although daily infections have now leveled off at around 15,000 new infections per day, they are still far too high and will likely continue to exceed the country’s ability to cope. “

Four vaccines are available free of charge to the citizens of Romania: Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines.

While on average 75% of EU citizens are fully vaccinated, this is the case for only 37% of Romanian citizens. While this number is low, it is 10% higher than the number 2 weeks ago. With COVID-19-related deaths soaring, some people are now more interested in vaccinations.

“Vaccinations […] We are now seeing a sharp increase, but it will be a few more months for Romania to surpass the important 70% vaccination rate required to control the local epidemic, “said McGrath.

Previously, interest in the vaccine had been so low that authorities could not use the allocated doses. The land has reportedly sold 2 million Vaccine doses and donated another million to stop them from expiring.

Last month the government introduced new restrictions to lower the infection rate. Among them, only vaccinated people and people with proven pre-infection were allowed to eat and a curfew had to be imposed on unvaccinated people.

The Romanian government has also launched a vaccination campaign in which vaccinated citizens receive meal vouchers and take part in a lottery for cash prizes.

Dr. Adriana pistolwho works with the Aspen Institute Romania and is the director of the National Monitoring and Control Center for Communicable Diseases, commented on the situation in a press conference.

“With a vaccination coverage of only 30% in the general epidemiological population, there is no control over the development of an epidemic.”

– Dr. Adriana pistol

The College of Physicians of Bucharest, a medical non-governmental organization, released an open letter to address the crisis.

“We are desperate because every day we lose hundreds of patients who are dying in Romanian hospitals,” the letter said. “We are desperate because we have unfortunately heard too often: I cannot breathe … I am not vaccinated …”

“Every day we experience tragedies: dying patients, suffering families, doctors who are at the end of their tether”, write the doctors.

The letter describes part of the problem as a “loss of trust” between doctors and Romanian citizens. In order to restore some of the public’s confidence, the family doctor Dragos Zaharia said the Associated press that, in his opinion, the authorities should have enlisted the help of well-known people.

“Only anonymous guys have this fight,” said Dr. Zaharia.

“It is heartbreaking for us to know that many of those who died could have survived if they had been vaccinated.”

In the meantime, the government is seeking help with treatment as the country’s supplies are running low. Last week, Romania received 5,200 doses of monoclonal antibodies from Italy, and Hungary agreed to accept several dozen seriously ill patients.

Romania also sent a Request to NATO ask for additional medical equipment, including oxygen concentrators and monoclonal antibodies.

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