In Constanța, Romania, patients were jumped from the lower floors of the hospital and firefighters carried people out. Seven people have died, officials said
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
Seven people have died after a fire broke out in a Romanian intensive care unit treating Covid-19 patients, officials said.
The tragic incident in the city of Constanța on the Black Sea coast marks the third fatal hospital fire in the country in less than a year.
From the lower floors of the hospital, patients jumped out of the windows and firefighters carried people out.
The country’s emergency call unit initially said nine people had died, but Transport Minister Lucian Bode later said there had been miscommunication between firefighters and hospital staff.
Firefighters put out the fire at the hospital in the eastern city just before 10 a.m. local time this morning after bringing in additional teams from the surrounding counties.
Angry relatives of the patients gathered in front of the hospital in protest.
The causes of the incident are not yet known, the public prosecutor has started an investigation.
In February, a fire in a Covid-19 hospital in the capital Bucharest killed four patients.
Last November, 10 people died in an intensive care unit at the Piatra Neamt district hospital.
President Klaus Iohannis said in a statement: “I am appalled by the tragedy.
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“It is a new terrible drama that confirms the lack of infrastructure in the Romanian health system, which has come under unimaginable pressure from the fourth wave of the pandemic.”
More than 12,500 Covid-19 patients, including 373 children, were treated in Romanian hospitals on Friday, 1,391 of them in intensive care units.
The number of new infections with Covid-19 in Romania reached 10,887 on Friday and intensive care units across the country were running out of space.
Romania has the second lowest vaccination rate in the EU with 27 nations.
Even before the Covid pandemic, Romania’s health system was under pressure, haunted by corruption, inefficiency and politicized management.
The country has one of the least developed health infrastructures in the EU.
The state has built a hospital in the past three decades, spends the least on health care in the EU, and tens of thousands of doctors and nurses have emigrated.