Coronavirus death toll up to 482. Stretcher-bearer from Mures among the victims. The controversial ‘big holiday’ document proposing separating elderly from their families

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Four new deaths from coronavirus have been reported in Romania on Tuesday morning, so the death toll reaches 482. Among the latest victims, there is also a stretcher-bearer from the Mures County Hospital.

There were 9,242 total cases of COVID-19 in Romania until April 21, with 306 new more ones since Monday. 2,153 people were declared cured and were discharged from hospitals. There are currently 245 patients in intensive care at this moment.

The last 4 victims were a 83yo woman from Bacau, with underlying conditions such as atrial fibrillation, operated femoral neck fracture, a 46yo woman from Giurgiu with diabetes type 2, hypertension, liver disease, a 62yo man from Mures, stretcher-bearer at the Mures County Hospital with pre-existing medical conditions like hypertension, obesity, diabetes type 2 and a 51yo man from Galati with obesity type 3 and hypertension.

Over 300 patients and medical staff of rehabilitation centre in Suceava have been infected with COVID-19, 242 patients and 59 employees. The centre is under the authority of Suceava Social Assistance General Direction. It all started from a beneficiary who had coronavirus symptoms and was sent to Suceava Emergency Hospital where the test proved to be positive.

The most cases of coronavirus in the country are as a matter of fact in Suceava – 2,238.

Bucharest comes second with 1,033 and Arad ranks third-423.

The National Public Health Institute has reported today that the number of new coronavirus infections had declined by 10.5% in Romania in the past week (April 13-19) as against the previous week.

More than half of deaths were reported in four counties- Suceava, Hunedoara, Arad and Mures, and also in Bucharest.

At the same time, almost three quarters of deaths (71.6%) were registered in people over 60 years over, with 64.3% of deaths being among men.

 

A controversial document

A controversial document has been circulated in the public space on Monday, with severe restrictions proposed by Adrian Streinu Cercel, the manager of Matei Bals Institute of Infectious Diseases, after the relaxation of the existing social distancing measures.

The project, entitled “The Big Holiday Programme” had nine pages and proposed, among others, to separate elderly from their families for a period of three months and to totally isolate people aged from 40 to 65 “if they have jobs that are not essential in case of pandemic”.

Doctor Cercel’s plan used to redefine the risk groups as such:

  • People older than 65yo;
  • People aged 40-65;
  • People under 40;
  • People with chronic diseases, regardless of age.
However, later on, Health Minister, Nelu Tătaru, said there is no such intention to separate elderly from their families.
More precisely, the document proposed that people over 65 should be isolated at home for the next 12 weeks (home meaning their own house, relocation in a spare house or institutionalised home) and that they should be endorsed by the direct relatives or by authorities and NGOs, while they should be monitored by the local police and local authorities.

For the new risk group, aged 40 to 65, Cercel’s project said “total isolation” where it’s possible if they have a job that is not essential in case of pandemic and if they can work from home. The programme also proposed they should start working as of 07:30hrs.

City halls and local police should identify those people with jobs and who can work from home and to issue work certificates. The project mentioned that, during this time, uncontrolled access on the streets is banned and the public transportation means are decontaminated.

At the same time, doctor Streinu Cercel proposed the establishment of an anti-pandemic government or a pandemic ministry that should draft and enforce the specific actions.

The project also proposed “suspension of VAT payment and of all taxes for everybody, food stores to be open 24 hours in 24 and all costs to be covered by the state.”

These 3-4 months will have to be considered as if they have never existed, the project concluded.

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