WHO awards RO doctor who tried to save Covid-19 patients from hospital fire
Doctor Cătălin Denciu, who suffered severe burns after trying to save several Covid-19 patients from the fire that broke at Piatra-Neamț county hospital last year, received the WHO Director-General's Award for Global Health.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO's director-general, made the announcement during his opening speech at the World Health Assembly on May 24.
"Dr Catalin Denciu is an intensive care specialist in Romania. He was on duty in November last year, caring for patients with Covid-19, when a fire broke out in the hospital. Ten patients died in the fire, and in trying to save others, Dr Denciu suffered third-degree burns to 40% of his body. Today we will honor him with an award for his service, sacrifice and example," he said.
Denciu, who after the fire was transferred to Belgium for specialized treatment, said he accepted the award on behalf of the entire medical staff in Romania and around the world who are in the first line of the fight against Covid-19, on behalf of the Covid-19 patients who experienced the illness, and of the families of healthcare professionals.
"As I said before, I did my duty to my patients and colleagues. A physician's white coat comes with huge responsibilities and expectations. I urge you to show solidarity with the medical staff, to support them in every way, and to fight together with them to defeat the pandemic. Heroes are those who, each day for more than a year, continue to care for their patients and their families, despite all difficulties and barriers. It is an award for those resilient, for those who do not give up and keep on going. And I'm very proud to be one of those people," Denciu said upon accepting the distinction.
Dr Catalin Denciu was caring for #COVID19 patients when a fire broke out in the hospital where he worked. Tragically, 10 patients died & Dr Denciu suffered serious burns while saving others. Today he was awarded the Director-General's Award for Global Health by @DrTedros #WHA74 pic.twitter.com/5ScY3JF8HB— WHO/Europe (@WHO_Europe) May 24, 2021
Ten patients lost their lives in the fire that broke at the county hospital in Piatra-Neamț, in northeastern Romania, on November 14 of last year. All of them were Covid-19 patients.
(Photo: screenshot from video)