Moldova continues to beat its own anti-records. Registered COVID-19 disease rates firmly secured a place for Moldova in the “red zone” lists of neighboring countries
The worldwide number of patients with a new type of coronavirus continues to grow and has almost reached 8.5 million people. COVID-19 killed nearly 500 thousand lives. Moldova has officially registered more than 13 thousand coronavirus-infected people, 444 of which have died. More than 32 thousand nationals are suspected of being infected.
Moldova is beating its own anti-records in the number of new cases for the second week in a row. The country’s number throughout the epidemic has not exceeded three hundred. Last week’s increase up to 406 cases seemed a peak load. However, 478 new cases were fixed as early as this Wednesday.
Prime Minister Ion Chicu warned of the possibility of such developments early this week, when following the weekly meeting with the president and speaker he announced that the country was witnessing a second wave of the epidemic, “We note with concern that Moldova is going through the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic. An absolute global anti-record of new coronavirus cases was fixed on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Last week, an anti-record was also registered in our country. Unfortunately, we can say with almost certainty that there will be another anti-record of new coronavirus cases this week in Moldova and other countries. Experts predict even 500-600 new infections per day. We expect this situation and are ready to handle it.”
Unfortunately, expert forecasts have proved to be correct. By mid-June, the number of newly-registered coronavirus cases in Moldova per day was two times higher than in April. Ion Chicu called on everyone to be ready for “gloomy realities”.
The ongoing worsening of the epidemiological situation is primarily a challenge to the healthcare system, which proved to be completely unprepared for such stressful loads and got “tired” back in the first month of its fight against a new infection. It’s scary to think in what state it is now and what will happen if the incidence rate does not decline in the near future.
Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 disease are hospitalized by 53 medical institutions, and all of them ran out of vacant beds last week. Now the government is making efforts to expand the bed capacity. 800 beds will be prepared in the COVID-19 Center based in Moldexpo; 170 beds – at the Phthisiopneumology Institute; 20 beds will be created in each district hospital. In addition, a decision was made to re-profile several medical institutions and to open new field hospitals similar to the COVID-19 Center at Moldexpo. There are plans to open in total about two thousand new beds.
Another burning issue is the lack and fatigue of doctors. More than two thousand health workers are infected with coronavirus; those remaining “on duty” are physically and mentally exhausted by irregular work and the negligent attitude of the population to their health. “People complain that it’s hard for them to wear masks – it’s uncomfortable and hot, and it’s hard to follow safety precautions. Isn’t it hot for doctors in full protective garment? Isn’t it difficult for them? Many of them work 20 hours a day, they are on the verge of exhaustion. We do not have enough doctors or places in hospitals if the situation worsens. Everyone should understand this and respect our doctors and their health,” head physician of the Public Health Center Veaceslav Chislari said.
An increase in the incidence rate is associated with restrictions removal and quarantine weakening. At the same time, Igor Pokanevych, the head of the World Health Organization Office in Moldova, emphasized that increase in the incidence rate was also due to the fact that people massively went outside on weekends and holidays.
“If any increase in the number of cases, you need to speen back 5-7 days ago and see what preceded these outbreak. For example, the outbreak was fixed on May 14 and May 21. Go back in time for 5-7 days and what we see: at that time, they began to weaken quarantine and on the weekend of May 8-9, people actively went outside. The May 21 surge was also more related to the weekend, ” Igor Pokanevich said. The main outbreaks were observed after Easter, after opening of the central markets in Chisinau and Balti, after celebrating the Memory Days.
The head of the National Agency for Public Health Nicolae Furtuna called another reason for the increase in the number of new cases – the carelessness of people who neglect safety measures in public places: they do not observe social distance and do not wear masks. According to the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure Iulian Postica only 70% of passengers comply with the recommendations on wearing a mask in public transport.
The government appeals to economic reasons when they talk about the impossibility of returning to the bans imposed in March as part of the state of emergency. However, a number of restrictions have been restored and will last until June 30. In particular, it is forbidden to gather in groups of more than 3 people, being in children’s and sports grounds, in recreation areas, and people over 63 years old are forbidden to get outside the house and in public places without urgent need. The requirement to keep close the identity card and wear a mask in the store, transport or other closed public place still applies. To monitor compliance with these measures about ten thousand law enforcement officers and the military got mobilized.
The deterioration of the situation did not go unnoticed by Moldova’s external partners. Romania and Ukraine included Moldova in the list of countries of the “red zone”, which is fraught with a delay in restoring full transport links and going on a two-week quarantine by Moldovan citizens upon arrival in these countries. In addition, due to the large number of daily cases of COVID-19, Moldovans are not accept in Turkey, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain and Greece resorts.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made changes to the world order. Traditionally, mobile Moldovan citizens, accustomed to working trips and vacations in Europe, feel this especially acutely. Now, to visit another country it is not enough to have a biometric passport or to be trustworthy for obtaining a visa – the whole country must prove its organization and ability to cope with crises. And this is exactly what Moldovan society and the state are clearly lacking now and the out-of-control epidemic is a vivid proof of this.
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