Last week, Moldova became Europe’s absolute leader for the number of infections per capita
The new type of coronavirus pandemic continues to gain momentum. At the end of last week, the world anti-record was registered in the number of new cases detected per day – 181 thousand. Despite a periodic decrease in this indicator, the overall upward trend is obvious. Over the incomplete week, the number of those who got infected with COVID-19 increased by a million and reached the value of 9.5 million people. The infection claimed nearly 500 thousand lives.
Officially, in Moldova more than 15 thousand people got infected with coronavirus. Under suspicion of being infected remain more than 25 thousand residents of the republic. Last week is to be remembered for its peak infection values. However, analyzing the new cases registration schedule it is easy to notice that Moldova has reached a new level of infection spread: if at the end of May and in the first ten days of June 180 people were detected on average then the last two weeks have been pleasing with almost a twofold increase in the average daily indicator reaching 329 new cases.
Therefore, it is not surprising that, from June 15 to 21, Moldova became the Europe’s absolute leader for the number of infections per capita, reaching an average of 702 new cases per one million of its inhabitants. For two weeks, our country was on the second place in Europe for the number of deaths. Last week, another anti-record was set since 69 people died and that gives an average of almost 20 deaths per million inhabitants. In total, coronavirus killed 495 people in Moldova.
Publicly the current situation is called the second wave. However, it is necessary to clearly understand that in order for the second wave to come, the first should subside. And when judging by the dynamics of the disease, it did not happen. Moldova is still in the first wave: due to strict quarantine measures, it was possible to stretch it but as soon as the restrictions were lifted it began to gain momentum.
Obviously, there will be no return to hard quarantine. Both, Moldova’s population and business have hardly survived the state of emergency and do not have a sufficient pillow to live without income for several more months. However, certain restrictions are still needed. This explains the extension of the state of emergency in the field of public health until July 15 (while economic activity will be almost fully resumed from July 1).
In particular, until mid-summer, for groups of more than 3 people it is prohibited to stay in public places, people over 63 years old are not allowed to get outside the housing and no one is allowed to stay on sports fields and in recreation areas, these bans were extended. In addition, educational institutions, recreation camps, and rehabilitation centers remain closed. Cultural and sports events, nightclubs and ceremonies are prohibited. At the same time, it is allowed to hold solo mass meetings of up to 50 people if public health measures are observed and mandatory preparation of epidemiological data on participants are provided.
Under these conditions, the only way to contain the disease is to consciously attitude the population to health and accordingly observe epidemiological safety measures – mask control, social distance and disinfection. Unfortunately, this is what exactly Moldovan society is missing. In this regard, the country has tightened control over compliance with sanitary measures. Thus, if walking in a large company one is to pay the fine of almost 1.5 thousand dollars; for legal entities, non-compliance with sanitary standards will cost three times more.
Particular attention is paid to public transport, which is one of the points with an increased risk of infection with COVID-19 due to overcrowding and to passengers’ refusal to wear masks while the summer heat. Authorities urge citizens to minimally use public transport; they check the way sanitation measures throughout the country are respected by route administrators, city and intercity drivers, taxi services and by passengers.
The health care system cannot cope with the increased workload. Not enough space for infected ones. The decision made last week to create two thousand extra beds while maintaining the disease pace will not be able to cover the country’s needs in the near future.
However, medical personnel’s fatigue, illness and mortality when there initially was personnel shortage, all this is one big and acute problem. You can always expand bed capacity or treat patients at home but to do it specialists must be preserved in the system. That it where the problem lays.
Altogether, nearly 2,200 Moldovan health workers were infected with coronavirus. At the same time, the medical staff illness rate is increasing: this week the Ministry of Health reported a record number of health workers infected with COVID-19. The Sanatate Federation of Trade Unions even asked the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection to recognize the virus as an occupational disease.
The authorities finally noticed healthcare personnel crisis. It was decided to allocate 5.63 million lei from the state intervention fund to lump sum benefits in the amount of 16,000 lei for more than 300 employees of medical institutions who were infected with COVID-19 at work.
However, these measures do not fundamentally change the situation. It is necessary to promptly review the personnel policy in healthcare and first of all find ways to satisfy the staff shortage, perhaps by temporary retraining or by inviting foreign specialists. Otherwise, the national health system will remain the key source of risk and the weakest link. Having experienced shock loads in the first months of the epidemic now it is rushing in full steam towards inevitable collapse driven by the growing rate of the disease.
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