Israel sends COVID-19 assistance to hard-hit Romania

Israel is coming to Romania’s rescue, offering both human and technical help.

By Brian Blum, Israel21c

The fourth wave of COVID-19 has hit Romania hard. The country is confronting its worst wave of infections since the pandemic started nearly two years ago with 500 deaths a day and over 10,000 new infections every 24 hours. Romania’s health system is starting to collapse.

Israel is coming to Romania’s rescue, offering both human and technical help via the Israeli Embassy in Bucharest.

Earlier this week, Israel sent 40 oxygen concentrators to Romania. The devices were made possible with help from AFI Europe Romania and Israel’s Elbit Systems.

“Romania is going through a difficult period,” says David Saranga, Israel’s ambassador in Romania. “COVID patients need special medical attention and these oxygen concentrators will help them in the healing process.”

In addition, a medical team from Israel was sent to Bucharest on Sunday to share best practices with physicians in Romania. The team includes three doctors, a chief nurse specializing in COVID-19, and a logistics expert: Dr. Rami Sagi, Dr. Eyal Fox, Dr. Mark Romain, Tamar Keinan, Moshe Batito.

The country requested help via the EU Civil Protection mechanism. Denmark, Holland, Poland, Italy, Austria, France, Germany and Serbia all stepped up to the plate. Moldova also sent a team of doctors and nurses to work at the hospital in Letcani, in Romania’s northeastern county of Iasi, where COVID-19 patients are treated.

Although cases of infection in Romania seem to have plateaued, the number of patients dying from COVID is still high. On November 2, for example, the COVID death toll reached an all-time high: 591 cases in 24 hours. The country’s death tolls since the start of the pandemic has reached 48,664, authorities reported.

Romania has a population of 19.2 million – about double that of Israel, which also saw new cases of infection skyrocket to 10,000 a day during the height of the fourth wave, although total deaths remained much lower, at 8, 109.