Prime Minister Florin Cîțu has fired both the head of National Agency for Quality Management in Health and also the manager of the manager of the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Constanța, following a deadly fire which broke out in the ICU today (Friday October 1st, 2021).
President Klaus Iohannis said that the Romanian state has failed in its fundamental mission to protect its citizens and offered his condolences to the bereaved family, after 7 people were confirmed to have been killed in the fire.
Officials and health-workers are trying to identify solutions for transferring patients who were evacuated from the hospital in the middle of the 4th COVID-19 pandemic wave to hit the country. This tragedy has hit just one day after The Strategic Communication Group (GCS) announced that on Thursday, across Romania, there were only two intensive care beds left for treating patients with COVID-19, that aren’t being treated for other critical illnesses, one of those beds are located in Cluj.
According to Raed Arafat, the head of DSU, the fire detection system did not exist. He added that, during the last inspection, certain irregularities were found which were mentioned in the ISU Constanța report. Some irregularities refer to electrical installations and some improvisations, to unbalanced fuses and the malfunction of the fire signalling installation was found. There is an oxygen sensor in the hospital, it exists in the wards, but the fire detection installation does not exist.
The hospital manager, Stela Halichidis, explained that everything was working, but that “something bad happened”. When speaking with reporters, she informed that following the last inspection, all the defects were fixed according to the law.
She was quoted saying, “All documents are in order, all defects that have been found have been remedied. There was nothing wrong.
The network was checked, it was not oversized. There was nothing more than the medical equipment, which has a maintenance contract”
The quote concluded with her saying, “I’m sorry, what do you want me to die here?”.
Third Fatal Fire in Romanian Hospitals in the past 12 months.
This fire at the hospital in Constanța, comes just over 1 year from another fatal fire at an ICU in Piatra Neamț on 14 November 2020, which killed 10 people and another fire on January 29th, 2021 in Bucharest, which took the lives for 15 people, who were also being treated for COVID-19.
According to George Lazăr, the prefect of Neamț County, the fire in the Piatra Neamț hospital broke out a few hours after the ICU for patients with COVID-19 was moved from the third floor to the second floor of the building on 14 November, without approval and without notifying the authorities. This was contradicted by the hospital manager, according to which the Public Health Directorate had given its approval for the operation of the ICU on the second floor of the medical unit.