President of the Romanian Microbiology Society, Alexandru Rafila has stated on Monday that the coronavirus infection might be declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization.
At the same time, doctor Adrian Streinu Cercel, manager of the ‘Matei Bals’ Infectious Diseases Institute, assured that risk for the new flu virus to reach Romania is low. He added that there is no risk of such cases on Romania’s territory and people “must stay calm”.
“We are talking about over 80 deaths in China, which means a death toll of 2-4 percent. As for Romania, part of the precautionary measures taken last week are already operational”, said Alexandru Rafila.
In his turn, Streinu Cercel stated that most of the cases in China, 70%, are mild forms and the outbreak is around a region in China and not countrywide. “In the first 2-3 days the patient is developing pneumonia, but with no fever. The risk this affection to reach Romania is low. Matei Bals Institute has all capacities to diagnose and treat potential patients with coronavirus, if needed”, the hospital manager assured.
Streinu Cercel said that there is no problem with hospital beds in Romania if such cases appear, but to diagnose the first potential case. “We are monitoring all people entering Romania who traveled to China in the past 14 days. Do not try to seek quick tests for coronavirus, for there are no such tests. There is no case in Romania, people must calm down”, he underlined.
As for the folk ensemble from Mioveni who attended a festival in China and is supposed to return to Romania on Tuesday, doctor Streinu Cercel stressed that Romania’s Embassy in China reported the members of the band are healthy and there is no need to put them under quarantine.
Health Minister Victor Costache also said that the members of the band from Mioveni will avoid returning to work or school in the next 12-14 days, for there are also pupils among them.
The minister added that the last part of reagents are coming from France today and tomorrow morning the Bals Institute will be able to run tests to identify the coronavirus.
“It’s important to have thermoscan cameras in at least 2 or 3 airports though. Cameras are to be purchased by the Transport Ministry”, Costache announced.
China extended the Lunar New Year holiday to help contain an outbreak of the mysterious virus with cases confirmed around the world. Of those more than 4,000 people who have so far contracted the disease, the vast majority live in China. The outbreak that began in the Chinese city of Wuhan has already killed 106 people in China.
Most of those deaths, 76 people, were in the central province of Hubei, the center of the outbreak. Shanghai, a city of 24 million, recorded its first death on Saturday.
Alert in Bacau
A person who has recently come from China went to the Emergency Hospital in Bacau with symptoms of coronavirus.
“It’s a 24-year-old young man who studies in China and came to Bacau eight days ago. He had fever during the flight, but the fever stopped later on. He had a cough though and now he came to the emergency room of Bacau County Hospital, complaining of muscular pain. He has been isolated and he’s undergoing all necessary tests, blood samples have been sent to Matei Bals Institute in Bucharest and we’re now waiting for the results”, said Alin Năstasă, the manager of the Bacau Public Healthcare Direction.
However, Health minister has later assured the diagnosis had not been confirmed and the patient in Bacau had just got flu.
According to the Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE), three Romanians are now in the Hubei province in China, which is the ground zero of the new coronavirus, but their health condition is good.
MAE also reports that other 120 Romanian citizens are in Hong Kong and other 70 in Macao. There are also Romanian students in China who are in permanent contact with the embassy, but their number is unspecified.