About ten people have been killed in a fire at a Romanian hospital treating COVID-19 patients, the hospital’s spokesperson said in a statement Saturday.
The fire broke out in an intensive care unit treating a total of 16 coronavirus patients at the Piatra Neamt County Emergency Hospital.
The “tragedy…has left the whole country mourning,” Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis said in a statement on Saturday.
“I am deeply saddened by the death of the patients in the intensive care unit and I send my condolences and much strength to their families in these difficult times,” he added.
Many other people were seriously injured, including a doctor who tried to rescue the patients. The doctor suffered burns on 40% of his body and is currently in a stable condition, the statement read.
Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban called the doctor a hero for running into the blaze to help the patients, some of them unconscious and on ventilators.
Nelu Tataru, Romania’s Minister of Health, said the doctor will be transferred to a hospital in the country’s capital Bucharest by a military medical plane. The six patients who survived the fire have been transferred to a hospital in the city of Iasi.
Tataru said the cause of the fire is being investigated and he’s waiting for the results to come in from the Regional Emergency Department (ISU) and the General Prosecutor’s Office.
Cases are soaring in the country. On Saturday, there were 557 Covid-19 cases for every 100,000 people, according to a two-week average compiled by European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
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