Romania receives about 5,200 doses of monoclonal antibodies from Italy to treat COVID-19 patients
A C-27J Spartan aircraft of the Romanian Air Force transported about 5,200 doses of monoclonal antibodies from Milan to Romania on October 12. The doses came from the Lombardy Region's stocks, and the aid offered by Italy came at the request of the Romanian authorities.
The flight was made as part of the efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, "and the mission was carried out through the Civil Protection Mechanism of the European Union," the Romanian Ministry of Defense (MApN) said.
The monoclonal antibodies are used in the treatment of COVID-19 patients. According to the acting minister of health, Cseke Attila, as quoted by News.ro, they will be used for patients with "less severe" forms of COVID-19 who have symptoms for a maximum of seven days.
The Romanian Government also thanked Italy for its help: "Today, Romania has obtained a chance at recovery for several thousand patients who could develop severe forms of COVID, but also a breath of fresh air for the medical system. The monoclonal antibodies were obtained through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. Now we see the benefits of the fact that Romania also provided humanitarian aid to other European countries in recent years. We continue to work to obtain other medicines and medical products needed to treat all patients with severe forms. Italy, thank you!"
According to MApN, the monoclonal antibodies are lab-produced proteins that mimic the ability of the immune system to fight the new coronavirus. They attach to the surface viral protein (Spike) and thus block the virus's ability to attach to human cells.
The COVID-19 situation keeps worsening in Romania, with the country reporting a record number of new infections and deaths on October 12. In this context, the hospitals are running out of space for COVID-19 patients.
(Photo source: Mapn.ro; photo by Vali Ciobîrcă)