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July 26, 2021
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COVID-19 Romania: Third Wave Has Just Begun – Opinion

There are early signs that the third wave has just begun in Romania as well as in the rest of EU, but the people are not being told this. In fact, the authorities announced a week ago they were preparing for the third wave of epidemic in the country, but, according to statistics, the wave has already started. Of course, we are at the base of the wave, but the increase is visible.

Also, the fact that tens of cities have already entered the red scenario, including important localities near Bucharest, is another sign that a third wave is about to hit Romania at its fullest.

We have to consider the fact that a pandemic wave is not happening in the moment when there is a peak in the number of cases, but it starts earlier, along with the first signs of grow. The early signs of a new wave in Romania are visible, but, as it happens, the population is going to be told about it sometime closer to the peak of the wave, when the most drastic measures are expected to be taken once again.

In fact, in an analysis published on Wednesday by the Romanian National Institute for Publish Health (INSP), authorities admitted there are 3 different scenarios taken into consideration even since the schools were reopened in early February:

  • a gradual increase of 1% each day in average of the number of cases, which is going to lead to a daily average of 3,300 cases on March 20
  • a gradual increase of 2% each day in average of the number of cases, which is going to lead to a daily average of 4,600 cases on March 20
  • a gradual increase of 4% each day in average of the number of cases, which is going to lead to a daily average of 8,900 cases on March

The same authorities say we seem to be in the second scenario, which will led to 4,600 cases a day on average on March 20. This won’t be the peak of it, of course, but it’s just a landmark along the way. Some specialists expect the peak of the third wave to bring close to 9,000 infected cases a day, again.

Also, famous local specialists warned Romania cannot avoid the third wave, some even anticipating another Easter spent in houses by the people. Precisely, doctors expect a peak of the third wave to start at the end of March-beginning of April. If this is not the admitting of the new wave already starting in Romania, we don’t know what else could be.

Moreover, notably, the number of cases grew this week as compared to the previous week with more than 25%, according to statistics. It means we are on a growing trend and that the third wave has already started, but the population is not yet told so.

The proper indicator for the evolution of pandemic: number of patients in the Intensive Care Units

The proper indicator to tell exactly what is happening in a certain country or area is the number of patients in the ICU because of COVID-19 infections. Why? Because you can hide the fact that you have COVID-19 symptoms or that you are infected, but with minor symptoms, as it happens all the time when people simply stay at home if they do that, but you cannot hide you have COVID-19 when you feel you are in critical condition, situation when you do look for medical treatment. This is when the patient is automatically registered and treated as infected.

This is why the number of patients in the ICU is a proper indicator for the evolution of the pandemic in Romania.

Here’s what happened in Romania in the last year and recently:

Third wave in Romania
Graphic with the evolution of ICU cases in Romania from Graphs.ro

The evolution of the number of cases in the Intensive Care Units dropped for more than a month, during January and half of February, but now the number is growing again. In fact, after a long time, Romania has more than 1,000 COVID-19 infected patients in the ICU across the country.

Also, for all those who care more about the sheer number of people who are reported to be infected with the new coronavirus, please take a look at the following chart, which shows the evolution of the infected cases over the evolution of the ICU patients:

The chart showing the evolution of the patients infected over the patients in the ICU units.
Graphic source: Graphs.ro

An increase it visible in both the number of the infected patients and in the number of ICU registered patients.

What can Romanians expect from a third wave?

The third wave is, according to most, the worst to be seen so far, that because of the British strain which is more contagious. That means that the ICU units across the country will be put to test, to say it euphemistically.

On the other hand, let’s not forget Romania is on second in European Union when it comes to the percentage of population vaccinated against COVID-19 with two doses. Romania does close to an average of 30,000 vaccines per day and this number is also expected to increase. There is a race against the clock for getting as many people vaccinated as possible, in order to immunize the desired percentage of population up to summer.

This will, of course, help the authorities better fight the pandemic and, along with more people getting vaccinated, the spread rate of the coronavirus is considerably reduced.

Instead of conclusion

The third wave has just started, but the dimension of its peak directly rely on two main key factors: the vaccination speed, to increase the immunization level of the population, and the way the population applies the prevention rules, such as wearing masks in all the public spaces and practicing social distancing.

Stay safe and live healthy!

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