PM about testing 10,000 in Bucharest for COVID-19: ‘Just stories’. Testing algorithm updated: what categories take priority?

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After the manager of the “Matei Bals” Institute for Infectious Diseases, Adrian Streinu-Cercel and Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea had announced on Thursday that 10,514 people from 5 different age groups in Bucharest will be tested for the novel Coronavirus, PM Ludovic Orban reacted and said this is not possible.

“We cannot establish the people to be tested randomly. Selecting 10,000 are just stories, there is a priority list for testing, it depends on how the situation and the testing capacity are developing,” the PM told a conference at the Health Ministry’s HQs.

Orban said that the medical staff and those targeted by the epidemiological inquiries are qualifying for testing first, adding that “Romania has not been ready and the testing capacity has been limited”.

The premier said that “the testing capacity in Romania will increase up to 2,000 next week” and will gradually rise, but to select 10,000 people “are just stories”, the more the death toll has been low in Romania.

“The death toll is relatively low, so, below the mortality rate in other European countries, and in Romania the victims had also other pre-existing medical conditions,” he added.

New categories to be tested as a priority

The National Public Health Institute has released today an updated list of the categories of people to be tested for coronavirus in Romania, meaning it extended the testing criteria to other patients as well. So, as a first, Romanian doctors will also test the patients with pneumonia who have no previous medical records.

The move comes after two young patients have died in the past two days: a 45yo man from Arad and a 49yo man from Timisoara who came to hospital with pneumonia symptoms but who had not been tested for COVID-19 as they were not known to have returned from abroad or to have had contacts with infected people.

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