A 7th wave of COVID could come in the fall, Health minister says
Romania could be hit by the seventh wave of COVID in the fall, warns the Minister of Health, Alexandru Rafila, given that currently the presence of the sixth wave of infections is increasingly felt, in which the BA.5 version of Omicron continues to be dominant.
On Monday, the authorities announced more than 5,000 cases in 24 hours, and in hospitals, the situation is increasingly difficult: almost 4,200 patients are admitted, and of these 633 are children. There are over 260 patients in intensive care.
“5,202 cases registered in the last 24 hours. We maintain the same percentage of 20% of people who are reinfected in a time interval greater than 90 days. Regarding the degree of occupancy of hospital wards – beds allocated to infections with the new coronavirus – we reached a percentage of 17.18 percent, and 263 people are hospitalized in intensive care, representing a percentage of 14.69 to hundred. The increase is faster in the number of hospitalized people, a little slower in the cases hospitalized in the intensive care units, which rather indicates a lower severity of the circulating strains”, said Alexandru Rafila.
He announced that in the last week, 149 deaths were reported in patients infected with the new coronavirus, almost three times more than a week ago. “Here is an increase that is important, from 47 to 149 deaths, which is not unexpected, because with the registration of a jump in the number of cases, there is also an increase in the number of deaths. (…) We expect that in the next period this indicator will continue to grow“, said the minister.
Regarding the positivity rate of the diagnostic tests, it continued to increase, but a slowdown in the growth curve is noted. “Despite an estimate a week ago that we might hit 70,000 cases this week, 10,000 cases a day, it hasn’t happened. Probably next week, but if things go well, we may never reach 70,000. But the slowdown in growth is obvious, and we would be happy if it were sustained, not just a statistical coincidence”, commented the Minister of Health. Asked if he sees a slowdown in the wave of infections until the fall, the minister stated that he expects a slowdown and a stabilization in mid-August.
” I don’t want to speculate, but everyone is mentioning the possibility of a new pandemic wave towards the end of the year if one of the more easily transmissible modified strains becomes dominant. This infection is cyclical, we are used to it. We have periods of calm, periods of sustained transmission. It is important not to have serious cases and to offer people ambulatory medical assistance and access to antivirals in pandemic waves,” the Health minister stated. Asked if wave 7 would be possible towards the end of this year, Alexandru Rafila said: “A wave 7 is also possible in autumn, but I don’t want to scare the world, there’s no point. We have to be balanced. The important thing is that we have no victims or that there are as few as possible“, said the Minister of Health.