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Thousands of Romanian medical staff infected with Covid-19 since pandemic began

Some 5,224 healthcare professionals have been infected with the novel coronavirus since the pandemic reached Romania this spring, the health ministry said Thursday.

Of those, 834 were doctors, 2,363 nurses, and 80 ambulance staff. Another 1,947 were employees from other departments in the healthcare system.

The ministry did not provide figures for health staff Covid-19 related deaths.

Romania has reported 142,570 SARS-CoV-2 cases since the pandemic began, while 111,564 people have recovered. There have been 5,203 Covid-19 related deaths.

There has been a spike in recent days, with a negative record of 2,958 new cases reported on Wednesday.

Romanian medics and heath staff have complained of insufficient protective equipment, as well exhaustion and stress caused by dealing with health crisis.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday thanked them for their efforts.

„Romanian healthcare professionals have made huge efforts to save people’s lives… I thank them for their professionalism and …. (they) deserve our respect for choosing a vocational profession,” he said.

On Wednesday, there were 602 Covid-19 patients being treated in intensive care units. Romania has 1,000 intensive care beds available for SARS-CoV-2 patients, the president said.

Around the world, front-line heath workers are disproportionately vulnerable to the virus.

A study in medical journal the Lancet Public Health in August has found that front-line healthcare workers with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) have a three-fold increased risk of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test, compared to the general population.

Those with inadequate PPE were exposed to an even greater risk.

The study also found that healthcare workers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds were more likely to test positive.

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