At least 10 people have been killed in a fire at a Romanian hospital treating Covid-19 patients, the hospital’s spokesperson said in a statement Saturday. They were all patients.
The blaze broke out in an intensive care unit treating a total of 16 coronavirus patients at the Piatra Neamt County Emergency Hospital.
The “tragedy…has left the whole country mourning,” Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis said in a statement on Saturday.
I am deeply saddened by the death of the patients in the intensive care unit and I send my condolences and much strength to their families in these difficult times,” he added.
Several other people were seriously injured, including a doctor who tried to rescue the patients. The doctor suffered burns on 40% of his body and is currently in a stable condition, the statement read.
Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban called the doctor a hero for running into the blaze to help the patients, some of them unconscious and on ventilators.
Nelu Tataru, Romania’s Minister of Health, said the doctor will be transferred to a hospital in the country’s capital Bucharest by a military medical plane. The six patients who survived the fire have been transferred to a hospital in the city of Iasi.
Tataru said the cause of the fire is being investigated and he’s waiting for the results to come in from the Regional Emergency Department (ISU) and the General Prosecutor’s Office.
Cases are soaring in the country. On Saturday, there were 557 Covid-19 cases for every 100,000 people, according to a two-week average compiled by European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). In total there have been 353,185 confirmed cases of the virus and 8,813 Covid-19 related deaths since the pandemic started, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
As the United States grapples with a steep surge in Covid-19 cases, states such as Colorado are enacting emergency measures.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis ordered the state’s Emergency Operations center to return to the highest level of operations so that all agencies, federal partners and voluntary organizations can work together to respond to the spread and hospitals can prepare for threats to capacity, the governor’s office said Saturday.
I will never give up on Coloradans and I know we have the resolve to do what is necessary to defeat this virus,” Polis said in the release. “We simply must do a better job of wearing masks, physically distancing and avoiding social interactions with those outside our households. It’s up to us, Colorado, the time for change is now.”
With 1,100 residents in the hospital with the virus and more than 4,400 new cases reported Saturday, the state health department said, Colorado is just one of many states racing to respond to spiking cases. Across the country, 45 states are reporting an increase of cases above 10% compared to last week, which has brought the national total to more than 10.9 million cases and 245,600 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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Lily was taking her lunch break at the Dublin nursing home where she works when a friend called with the news that an official-looking letter had arrived for her.
She asked the friend to open it and read it aloud.
You no longer have permission to remain in the State and you must now return voluntarily to your country of origin or be deported,” the letter, from Ireland’s Department of Justice and Equality said. It told her she had five days to inform the authorities of her decision.
A flood of emotions rushed up at her, through the layers of her protective equipment. Lily said she wanted to cry, but forced the tears back down inside.
“I had to stay strong for the residents,” she said. “So, I put on a smile but deep down it was incredibly painful.”
Lily — whose name has been changed for her safety — said she fled anti-LGBTQ persecution in her native Zimbabwe and came to Ireland in 2016.
She wanted to help others, so studied to qualify as a healthcare assistant; she landed a job as a care worker at a nursing home last year, and hopes to study for her nursing degree in future.
She has worked at the care home throughout the coronavirus pandemic, taking only three weeks off when she contracted the virus herself in April.
Near the beginning of the pandemic, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organization reported that Ireland had the highest rate of Covid-19 infection among healthcare workers anywhere in Europe.
Once she had recovered, Lily returned to work. In the months that followed, she said she watched as the disease took the lives of some of the elderly residents she had cared for.
“There were so many people dying. It was unbearable,” she said.
Now, with deportation looming, Lily feels she’s facing something akin to her own death sentence.
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According to Johns Hopkins University’s tally of cases, the United State has recorded at least 10,903,890 cases of coronavirus including 245,598 deaths.
On Saturday, Johns Hopkins University reported 166,555 new cases and 1,266 additional deaths. This is the second highest number of cases reported in a single day since the pandemic began and the 12th consecutive day of new case totals surpassing 100,000, according to JHU data.
The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.
For the latest Johns Hopkins University US numbers, check here. Bioreports’s map using JHU data continues to refresh every 15 mins.
Japan reported 1,738 new coronavirus cases on Saturday — the third day in a row it has reported a record number of cases in a single day, the country’s Health Ministry announced Sunday.
The national death toll rose by 13 on Saturday.
Japan’s second biggest prefecture, Osaka posted 285 new cases on Saturday — the second day in a row that it has reported a daily record number of cases.
The nation’s capital, Tokyo added 352 new cases on Saturday, marking the fourth straight day of logging more than 300 patients for a single day.
The total cases in Tokyo stand at 34,496, including 470 deaths.
The latest numbers bring Japan’s nationwide total to 117,389, including 1,896 deaths.
Rising coronavirus cases may push hospitals past capacity and force states to shut down, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, Bioreports Medical Analyst and professor of medicine at George Washington University, said Saturday.
The US is headed towards “an intolerable number of deaths,” Reiner told Bioreports’s Ana Cabrera.
Reiner said the continued rise in cases will result in hospital intensive care units (ICU) reaching capacity.
“You can make more ICU beds, but what you can’t make are more ICU nurses,” he said. “We will run out of the capacity in many of these hospitals to care for the critically ill.”
Reiner said that governors will start to institute restrictions and shutdowns in their states.
“They’ll do it when their hospitals are saturated. They’ll do it whether they want to or not. They’ll do it whether the outgoing President wants them to or not,” he said.
It’s not entirely too late to turn things around, Reiner noted.
“What they should be doing now instead, to derail this out of control train, is to institute universal mask orders throughout their states,” he said. “Otherwise the shutdowns are coming, but at great cost.”
More than 100,000 new Covid-19 cases were reported in the United States on Saturday, the 12th day in a row the country saw new cases of the virus rise by six figures.
Friday saw the highest daily case count since the pandemic began with 184,514 new cases.
As of Saturday afternoon US time, 116,716 new Covid-19 cases and 917 additional deaths had been reported.
The US has reported more than 10.8 million cases and more than 245,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
A number of US states reported a record rise in cases Saturday. Those states included:
- West Virginia reported 1,153 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, marking the first time the state has reported over 1,000 new cases in one day since the start of the pandemic. In total, the state has recorded 32,792 cases.
- Kentucky announced an additional 3,303 positive coronavirus cases — its highest number of Covid-19 cases in a single day, Governor Andy Beshear said in a statement Saturday. The state has added 11,500 cases and 68 deaths in the past four days alone, the statement said.
- Maryland confirmed an additional 2,321 coronavirus cases across the state, “by far the largest daily increase we’ve ever seen,” Republican Governor Larry Hogan said in a tweet Saturday. There were 20 coronavirus-related deaths reported by the state over the past 24 hours, he added.
The Navajo Nation will implement stricter health measures for three weeks starting Monday as cases continue to rise, according to a press release issued Friday.
Two public health orders and one executive order were finalized Friday as the Navajo Nation saw nearly 900 new cases of Covid-19 within the last week, the release said.
More than 13,000 total coronavirus cases have been confirmed and 598 people have died in the Navajo Nation, according to the nation’s Covid-19 dashboard.
One of the orders requires all government offices and enterprises to close from November 16 through December 6, except for essential employees needed to maintain essential services and government functions, according to the release.
The order also requires all schools to go online for that time period, the release said.
A second order implements a three week stay at home lock down and will restrict any travel off of the Navajo Nation. Residents are allowed to leave their homes for emergencies or to get groceries, medicines, and firewood, according to the release.
Businesses deemed essential will be allowed to open from the hours of 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
“We have to implement these public health measures to protect our Navajo people and reduce the spread of this virus,” Navajo National President Jonathan Nez said in the release.
“We are inching closer and closer to a major public health crisis in which we could potentially see our hospitals filling up with patients. Our health care system on the Navajo Nation cannot sustain a long-term surge in Covid-19 cases.”