A new row has sparked in the already fragile ruling coalition after the sudden dismissal of Health minister Vlad Voiculescu (USR-PLUS) by the Liberal PM Florin Citu.
After on Sunday the sacked minister Voiculescu said that there are documents proving there is a working group within the Health Ministry that was taking care of checking the way the Covid-19 deaths are officially reported and he revealed this document in the media, PM Citu retorted, claiming he had received no such document and the one featured in the press is fake, threatening that the competent bodies might be notified.
According to G4media, a document signed by the former secretary of state Andreea Moldovan (also sacked along with Vlad Voiculescu), dating back on April 12 (so two days ago before Voiculesc and Moldovan had been dismissed), stipulated the establishment of “a technical working group” that was to investigate the way “official dates regarding the SARS-CoV-2 infection were being reported”. A message was written to one of the document’s pages: “To Mr. Florin Citu. Confidential” and is signed with the confirmation note “Received”.
Government retorts in in a press release sent today that “to so-called documents have nothing to do with the Government or with the PM’S office, they are false and groundless”.
The Executive adds that the documents do not have the correct markings of some official documents registered at the Prime Minister’s Office, at the General Registrar’s Office or at the Government’s General Secretariat.
“No document referring to the establishment or to the activity of such a working group has not been submitted to the PM’s Office,at the General Registrar’s Office or at the Government’s General Secretariat”.
The Executive further explains that the registration number received by a document taken over by the PM’s Office or the other two bodies consists of four figures, preceded by a number specific to the cabonet where the document is submitted: 5/xxxx in the case of PM’ Office, 17/xxxx in the case of the General Registrar’s Office and 20/xxxx in the case of the Government’s General Secretariat.
When such an official document is taken over, the person who received the documents signs, also mentioning the clear name in order to be later identified.
If the document is sent in a closed envelope, the envelope is opened and the registration number is mentioned on the official document.
The row has started after the dismissed minister Vlad Voiculescu had said that he and his team had discovered some misreports on the Covid-19 deaths, that a working group had been established to investigate that and that he hadn’t got to tell the PM, but an official document had been though sent to the PM’s office informing him about the issue and the setting up of this working group.
More precisely, Voiculescu claimed that there are two platforms that report the deaths among the Covid-19 patients and that there are discrepancies between the two of them, with the platform of the hospitals reporting a number of Covid deaths and the other platform of the Public Health Directions and family doctors reporting a lower number of deaths.
PM Citu said on Sunday evening that there is no such working group at the Health Ministry. Asked by the journalists about the memo sent by deputy PM Dan Barna regarding the problems signaled by Vlad Voiculescu, including on the misreporting of Covid deaths, PM Citu said there is no such memo.
After Citu’s statements, Vlad Voiculescu reacted saying his statements on the working group are real and there are documents in the ministry confirming his saying.
“What I’ve said is true and there are documents certifying this. There are documents of the Health Ministry”, Voiculescu mentioned.
The new leadership of the Health Ministry, with PM Citu as acting Health minister who delegated attributions to state secretary Andrei Baciu, told mass media today around noon that the decision to set up a working group on the Covid-19 deaths, presented as such by Vlad Voiculescu and assigned to the office of the former state secretary Andreea Moldovan, had been added in the correspondence register by Moldovan’s office later on. The new people in charge at the Health ministry explained that in this register there are two documents filled in by Moldovan with the same registration number, which denotes that the document on the working group had been squeezed in later on.