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December 7, 2021
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​Romanian Coronavirus Variant – Is It Here Already?

Romania Coronavirus strain – this is what the Romanian authorities try to stop from outbreaking. It would be the worst-case scenario in a country already overwhelmed by the daily number of new cases.

How did Romania get here?

Romania’s current situation regarding the pandemic is not so good, despite the optimism of the Government. Covid-19 infections are at their peak – there are newly reported cases of more than 16,000 a day.

Romania has reported an unprecedented rise of Covid-19 infections in the middle of a slow vaccination rate. The Government is trying to persuade the population to get vaccinated, but, as their PM said, the Government is not a marketing agency.

So far, 11,175,648 doses of the COVID vaccine have been used in Romania. Most Romanians used the two-doses immunization, with Pfizer or Moderna, which barely resulted in the so-called immunization of 31% of the total population. The goal was to reach 70% by the end of September.

All these are concerning enough. What’s more concerning is that, besides the higher increase in the number of Covid-19 patients, there is also a new threat: a potential Romanian coronavirus variant outbreak. What does this mean?

WHO already sent their representative to Romania

WHO fears a new strain of Coronavirus could outbreak in Romania. A WHO representative already came to Romania to help the authorities figure out where they had it wrong. Was it the failure to persuade the people to get the vaccine? Was it the rejection of the new restrictive measures?

Doctors fear that a new coronavirus variant could appear in Romania because of the higher increase of infections and a slower rate of vaccinations. The hospitals are full and the medical staff is overwhelmed with new patients who arrive at crowded emergency rooms every day.

Since the start of the pandemic, Romania has registered more than 1.2 million cases. But what is concerning the doctors now is that the current patients need more oxygen than they used to administrate at the beginning of the pandemic. Doctors say that patients are intubated within hours of arriving and that the patients seem to lose their breathing capacity suddenly.

The World Health Organization has announced that it will bring to Romania 200 oxygen concentrators, with a capacity of 8 liters. This might hint that a coronavirus variant could break and spread in Romania and the international authorities and the national ones are doing everything in their powers to stop it from happening.

The experience with the Indian strain

The SARS CoV-2 “delta variation,” also known as B.1.617, is a coronavirus variant that had a significant role in India’s second wave of illnesses and has spread to several other countries, including the United Kingdom. It appears to apply quicker than the Alpha or B.1.1.7 variants from the United Kingdom. In December 2020, another delta sub-variant known as B.1.617.1 was discovered for the first time in India. In late March, B.1.617.1 was found in 50% of all reported sequences, although this proportion decreased in April.

The fact is that specialists claim that the outbreak of the India variant happened because of the lack of preventive measures and restrictions, plus the effect of the crowded public places in India.

In Romania, no severe restrictive measures have been taken since May and the vaccination rate is at the lowest level in Europe, except for Bulgaria. If we add the crowded shopping malls to this equation and how the vaccinated people behave, as they think they are ‘immune’ to the virus, without realizing they can spread it like all the others, we have the perfect recipe for disaster.

The Indian experience tells the doctors that a lookalike scenario can roll out in Romania as well. A new Coronavirus strain to spread throughout Europe is the last thing on the list of wishes for this winter, though.

What is to be done to prevent this scenario from happening?

Most of the Romanians don’t trust in the efficiency of the vaccine. The Interim Government tries to convince people about the risks they are exposed to if they don’t get vaccinated. But Romanians don’t seem to be very interested in these campaigns. Still, the authorities are preparing to declare a new emergency situation in the country and total or local lockdowns are yet to come.

Are these going to save the situation? Most experts think these measures are taken a little too late in a country that ranks on top by the number of daily deaths per thousand inhabitants. Yet, by getting the help of real professionals in marketing, the Government could roll out a proper communication campaign to persuade people to get the vaccine.

No good signs ahead, hopefully, the situation gets better.

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