“I am horrified by the tragedy that took place this morning,” he said in a statement.
In a news conference held outside the hospital, Cristian Amarandei, the head of the local branch of Romania’s emergency services, said that “irregularities, malfunctions were found” in the February inspection and that “sanctions were applied.”
He said the hospital’s administrator had promised to address the irregularities by the end of this year. “We have not checked since,” he added.
Stela Halichidis, the hospital manager, said in a statement that “all the defects were fixed” and that “everything worked according to the law.”
The coronavirus continues to spread widely in Romania, which has the European Union’s second-lowest vaccination rate. More than 12,000 new cases were reported on Thursday, a new record. Over 12,000 Covid patients are now in the country’s hospitals, including more than 1,300 in intensive care units, according to the health ministry.
When the pandemic hit, even before a new wave of infection driven by the Delta variant this spring, there was concern that Romania’s health care system would buckle under the pressure. Tens of thousands of doctors and nurses have emigrated from the country, only one new hospital has been built there since the fall of Communism in 1989, and Romania’s spending on its health care system is among the lowest in the European Union.