Romania has confirmed its first official case of the novel coronavirus as a man from the Gorj county (a rural area) tested positive, according to Romania’s health minister Victor Costache and secretary of state Raed Arafat. He has been moved to Bucharest to received treatment.

UPDATE: Check out my article about the Cornoavirus spread in Romania to see the latest updates.

The official confirmation became at around 10PM on Wednesday, Febraury 26th, when news website Digi24 was among the first to break the news. I am sharing with you all the details below:

The confirmed case – a Romanian male aged 25, living in a rural area in the Gorj county in Romania, has been in direct contact with a 71 years old Italian citizen that visited Romania between Feb 18 – 22, before traveling back to Italy and being diagnosed with the Covid-19 there.

Upon hearing about the Italian male, the Romanian authorities started to test all people who have been in contact with the Italian man – who traveled to multiple cities, including Craiova and Targu Jiu during his stay in Romania.

The 25 yo Romanian is the first to test positive, but the Romanian authorities announced that there are still 33 tests in the works – with many others concluded and providing negative results.

The 25-year-old is living in Gorj country in a rural area, so authorities expect the epidemiological impact to be minimal. It’s interesting that the patient is showing no symptoms, according to Romania’s health minister. He’s also in a good, stable condition.

However, the man lives in a home where 7 other people live – mostly elderly and no children. They’ve all been quarantined inside the house, with guards at their doors (to avoid curious neighbors coming in, according to authorities) and awaiting test results.

Romania’s health minister made the following statement, quoted by Romanian news agency Hotnews and the aforementioned Digi24:

“After testing people living in Gorj that had direct contact with the Italian citizen, we have the first confirmed case of COVID-10 on Romania’s territory. As soon as the patient gets to Bucharest, he will receive proper treatment and we’re hoping for good results. The patient is in a good condition, has no symptoms and we shouldn’t be alramed. We’re working on 33 other test and we’ll communicate the results as soon as possible. The man (living in Gorj – nr) went hunting with the Italian, he had direct contact with him”.

The other 7 people living in the same house as the confirmed case have all tested negative, but will spend 14 days in quarantine at home.

Meanwhile, the patient was taken to Bucharest’s Matei Bals hospital (he’s still on the way at the moment of writing this article) – which is Romania’s main hub designed for treating potential infections with the new virus.

I will keep updating the previous article with coronavirus news in Romania – so if you want to keep an eye on the evolution of the situation in Romania, make sure to check it out often.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for sharing this information, and in a clear, concise manner. Most of the news I’ve read has been full of hyperbole, yet lacking in useful details.

    • It seems that in Romania, both the media and the authorities have taken a different approach compared to the rest of the world: they don’t seem to be worried about the effects panic can have (see the recently emptied supermarkets in Bucharest even before there was a confirmed case!)

      I can only hope that the authorities will continue to be transparent and do their best about this. I will also do my best to report the situation here for as long – and the best that as I can.

  2. The Romanian health authorities seem to be on top of things. There is a great deal more hysteria here in Japan. Schools and many businesses have been closed for a week. The number of confirmed cases will soon reach 1,000. We are hunkered down here at home and go out as little as possible.

    • Hysteria hit the country pretty hard as well, even before the confirmed case. We’ll see how it goes today, but hopefully the authorities are indeed on top of the situation. The fact that they did find this man infected before even showing symptoms shows that they might’ve moved fast enough this time.

      But with Italy being Romania’s top choice for people looking for work abroad and with hundreds of people coming from North Italy recently, many worry that things will change here pretty soon.

      I will admit it now: I’m not as relaxed as I used to be, especially since the confirmed case is just a couple of hours away from my home town. I initially thought that Romania is very safe from the virus since it’s not so touristy: I was wrong. I also thought that the villages are the safest in the country – proven wrong again. I was also considering our city among the safest since we’re a bit away from the beaten path. Not proven wrong yet… but we’re much closer to a confirmed case than many others…

  3. More bad news: some have surmised virus is currently mutating. There’s recorded a person who was infected, then got re-infected! Would really be interested in learning about “ground zero.” Hopefully, there will be
    enough information to mitigate future pandemics.
    US President Trump is an i***t! I’m sure Romanian President Iohannis is a lot better at reassuring the people.
    (Could NOT be any worse!)
    Good luck to all of us!

    • I read the reports about the people getting reinfected… I just thought that maybe they rushed to release them before they were really cured. Nobody really knows all there is to know about this virus at the moment.

      The Romanians (like most people in the Balkans) don’t really trust the officials, so no matter what they do, there will be doubts. So far though I believe that the transparency has been flawless. Now all we can hope is that the people will do their part as well: wash hands, stay in quarantine if they have to, avoid going out if they have symptoms… I think that these things are the biggest challenge here and most places too.

  4. Meanwhile life is going on here in Valencia. The no pasa nada attitude is alive and well. There are 10 cases here in the city, and apart from no press conference with the football team that had just returned from Milan (and one of the reporters has symptoms), Fallas started with a bang yesterday and throngs of people were watching it live. No plans to cancel it at all, and it runs from today till the 21st. We’re off to Italy :-).

    • I can understand how difficult it can be to have to cancel traditional events and meetings… many people say that they would do better if in charge, but in reality it’s not that easy. Still, with a largely unknown virus, it’s still a big risk to be completely reckless 🙂

      On a brighter note, Romania’s first patient has already recovered apparently, with two new tests coming out negative (not sure if a false positive was a possibility in the first place, but right now everybody’s happy with the good news).

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