Top doctors warn Romanians of Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on winter holidays
The issue of the new coronavirus will not be solved until the spring or summer of next year, and the public need to learn to live with it and follow the prevention rules, Raed Arafat, the head of Romania’s Emergency Situations Department (DSU), said in an intervention at television station Antena 3.
He said the winter holidays should be adapted to the current context.
“The winter holidays should be adapted to this virus. I know many people will want to celebrate the winter holidays as if the virus didn’t exist. Unfortunately, this will not be possible. We will have to adapt the way we will mark the respective period in the hope that next year we will be able to return to a life as close to normal as possible,” Arafat said.
A similar message was delivered by doctor Virgil Musta, the head of the infectious diseases department of the Victor Babeș Hospital in Timișoara, a city in western Romania that already entered the red scenario, meaning the rate of infections is higher than 3 per 1,000 inhabitants.
“I don’t think we will have winter holidays, and I don’t think we can celebrate in a situation where so many people are sick,” he told Digi24. “We will remain on call and spend the holidays at work, and the others will not be able to enjoy parties because all venues will be closed and events restricted.”
Arafat urged people to follow the prevention rules to be able to overcome this period.
“If we follow all the rules and temporarily give up on certain aspects of our lives without changing them significantly, then we might get out of this ok when things go back to semi-normal, towards spring-winter […] We can have moments when things get worse, moments when the situation stabilizes; we can have increases, decreases. It’s all up to us if we follow the rules and what activities we restart, how we restart them; we can control the situation and prevent a very dramatic situation where we can no longer stand up to this,” Arafat said.
He also argued that any parties after the parliamentary elections, scheduled to take place this December, should be banned to prevent what happened after the local elections.
“Even if this wasn’t allowed at the local elections, it still happened. We will have to teach the public that, regardless of how happy one is, they risk passing on the illness in the community with these meetings,” the DSU head explained.
According to Arafat, the vaccination against Covid-19 cannot start earlier than February-March of next year, provided that the vaccine is distributed by the end of this year.
Meanwhile, Musta pleaded with the public to follow the rules and understand the challenging current situation.
“We are upset because, unfortunately, there are still irresponsible people who don’t want to follow the rules, even though we find ourselves in such a difficult situation. There are no available intensive care beds in Timișoara. Any new cases will be transferred out of the county; our hospital is full. There are only a few beds available in Covid-19 support hospitals,” Musta explained.
He argued that only if everyone is responsible and understands the importance of wearing a mask and maintaining social distance can the situation improve.
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