7 die in fire at Covid ICU in Romania
Bucharest, Oct 1 (EFE).- Seven people were killed in a fire at an intensive care unit for Covid-19 patients at a hospital in the southeastern city of Constanta on Friday, Romania’s interior minister said.
The department for emergency situations said the entire hospital had been evacuated, with all 113 patients transferred to other hospitals in the area.
This was the 10th fire at a Romanian medical center in less than a year, Romanian news portal G4Media said.
Ten Covid patients died in November 2020 when an ICU in the Black Sea city caught fire. In January this year, another five Covid patients died in another fire at Matei Bals hospital in Bucharest.
Doctors contacted by Efe said ICUs overcrowded with Covid patients which have spurred use of electricity in generally precarious and outdated facilities is one of the main causes of the frequent blazes.
The use of oxygen to treat people with Covid, the sources added, increases the risk of explosions when there is a short circuit.
A fourth wave of Covid infections is hitting Romania, which has only vaccinated a third of its adult population.
This week the country broke its record for daily infections since the pandemic began, with more than 12,000 cases in 24 hours.
The new spike in cases has also led to a substantial increase in the number of Covid patients admitted to ICUs, forcing the Romanian government to increase the number of beds. EFE