Ambulances evacuate patients after deadly Romanian hospital fire

Ambulances ferried patients away from the scene of a fire at a hospital treating COVID-19 patients in the Romanian city of Constanta that killed seven people on Friday (October 1), footage from Romanian broadcaster DIGI24 showed.

The country's emergency response unit had initially said nine people had died, but Transport Minister Lucian Bode later said there had been a miscommunication between firefighters and hospital staff.

Constanta County Prefect Silviu Cosa told reporters 50 fire service vehicles and 120 firefighters were involved in the emergency response to the blaze, and patients at the hospital were being distributed to others nearby.

The country's interim health minister said the cause of the fire would be thoroughly investigated.

In February, a fire killed four patients at a COVID-19 hospital in the capital Bucharest. Last November, 10 people died in an intensive care unit at the Piatra Neamt county hospital.

Even before the pandemic, Romania's health care system had been under pressure, dogged by corruption, inefficiencies and politicized management. The country has one of the EU's least developed healthcare infrastructures.

(Source: Reuters)

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