While the Covid situation differs around the world, in Romania it is no longer considered a health emergency.
Covid-19 is no longer a public health issue in Romania, said health minister Alexandru Rafila on Sunday. In the last few months, the authorities have only recorded a few hundred cases daily, with no fatalities reported on some days. The minister underlined, however, that any flu-like infection can be unpredictable in terms of severity and recommends vulnerable people, such as chronic patients and the elderly, to get the Covid vaccine, all the more so as a new jab adapted to combat the Omicron variants will soon become available in Romania. Alexandru Rafila:
"We should have the vaccine adapted for the B.A4 and B.A5 variants by the end of the month. It's the first time we're going to use an adapted vaccine and I will get this fourth jab myself, just as I got the flu vaccine. In the future we might have a seasonal Covid vaccine like we have for the flu. This is unrelated to the dramatic situation in 2021, when we had over 26,000 fatalities in the fourth wave."
According to the health minister, people will be able to get the Covid vaccine from their family doctors and the vaccination centres opening in a number of hospitals in Romania. Referring to the flu season, he said he wasn't expecting a wave of respiratory infections and that the number of cases is for the time being not much different from that seen in previous years. He said, however, that this season is more intense in terms of flu and will end faster than in previous years. In his opinion, a quick solution is to use the outpatient paediatric wards in hospitals so as not to put pressure on emergency wards, a measure that was also used during the pandemic. Alexandru Rafila:
"Only a small percentage of children needs hospitalisation and intervention in emergency wards. We find must a solution for parents to be able to take their children to their family doctors first and if the latter are not available then to a specialist outpatient ward for children where x-ray equipment is also available, so the problems can be solved without overcrowding emergency wards."
During the pandemic, health facilities were overcrowded throughout the state of alert declared on 20th May 2020 and lifted almost two years later, on 9th March this year. Earlier, Romania was in a state of emergency for two months, which was declared two days after the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus pandemic. According to official figures, almost 3.3 million people have been infected with Covid in Romania and more than 67,000 have died following infection. (CM)