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COVID patients killed in Romania’s third deadly hospital fire in less than a year

Written by on 01/10/2021

At least nine COVID-19 patients have died after a blaze ripped through a hospital in Romania.

The country’s health ministry reported that they were among 113 patients in the medical unit of Constanta’s Hospital for Infectious Diseases when the fire broke out earlier today.

Pictures of the scene show firefighters smashing windows of the hospital to reach people trapped inside as thick black smoke billowed from the building.

Romania Hospital Fire
Emergency personnel exit through a window after a fire in the COVID-19 ICU section of the Hospital for Infectious Diseases in the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. Authorities say a fire at a hospital in Romania’s port city of Constanta has killed nine COVID-19 patients in the ICU. All patients have been evacuated following Friday's blaze at Constanta’s Hospital for Infectious Diseases. (AP Photo/Costin Dinca)
PIC:AP
Image: Firefighters were seen tackling the blaze at the hospital
Pic: AP
In this image released by Romania's Emergency Situations Inspectorate firefighters put out a blaze at the COVID-19 ICU section of the Hospital for Ifectious Diseases in the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. A fire broke out Friday morning at a hospital in Romania...s port city of Constanta, leaving 9 people dead according to the country's Emergency Situations Inspectorate (IGSU).(Romanian Emergency Situations Inspectorate, IGSU via AP)..

The flames were quickly extinguished and all other patients were evacuated.

The health ministry added in a statement that more details about the fire would be revealed at a later news briefing.

It is not yet known how the fire started.

Pic: AP
In this image released by Romania's Emergency Situations Inspectorate firefighters put out a blaze at the COVID-19 ICU section of the Hospital for Ifectious Diseases in the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. A fire broke out Friday morning at a hospital in Romania...s port city of Constanta, leaving 9 people dead according to the country's Emergency Situations Inspectorate (IGSU).(Romanian Emergency Situations Inspectorate, IGSU via AP)..
Image: At least nine people have died after a fire broke out at a hospital in Constanta
Patients sit wrapped in blankets and sheets after a fire in the COVID-19 ICU section of the Hospital for Infectious Diseases in the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. Authorities say a fire at a hospital in Romania’s port city of Constanta has killed nine COVID-19 patients in the ICU. All patients have been evacuated following Friday's blaze at Constanta’s Hospital for Infectious Diseases. (AP Photo/Costin Dinca)
PIC:AP
Image: Patients sit wrapped in blankets and sheets after being evacuated from the building

It comes after Romania was hit by two other deadly hospital fires during the last year.

More on Covid-19

In November 2020, 10 people died when a fire broke out at an intensive care unit for COVID-19 patients in the northern town of Piatra Neamt.

And another fire killed five people after ripping through a ward at Bucharest’s Matei Bals hospital in January.

President Klaus Iohannis called for urgent reform of hospital infrastructure following these blazes.

He added tragedies like it “must not happen again”.

Fire engines were seen outside the hospital earlier on Friday
Image: Fire engines were seen outside the hospital earlier on Friday
Pic: AP In this image released by Romania's Emergency Situations Inspectorate, paramedics work outside the COVID-19 ICU section of the Hospital for Infectious Diseases in the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. Authorities say a fire at a hospital in Romania’s port city of Constanta has killed at least nine people. All patients have been evacuated following Friday's blaze at Constanta’s Hospital for Infectious Diseases. (Romanian Emergency Situations Inspectorate, IGSU v

As of Thursday, more than 12,100 COVID-19 patients – including 315 children – were being treated in Romanian hospitals, with 1,364 in intensive care, according to the latest figures.

The rising numbers have sparked concern, as the EU state has the second-lowest vaccination rate in the bloc.

Romania had struggled with its health care system before the pandemic started last year, due to corruption and politicised management.

Over the last 30 years, only one new hospital has been built.

The dire situation has resulted in tens of thousands of doctors and nurses emigrating to other countries.

 Sky News

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