Europe

EU sends COVID-19 drugs, equipment to Romania to tackle health crisis

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A general view of the mobile intensive care unit (ICU) being prepared to receive coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients at Marius Nasta Institute of Pneumology in Bucharest, Romania, September 22, 2021. Picture taken September 22, 2021. Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea via REUTERS

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BRUSSELS, Oct 15 (Reuters) - European Union countries have sent COVID-19 drugs and equipment to treat patients in Romania, which is facing a surge in infections largely among the unvaccinated majority of the adult population.

In the first ten days of October, one person has died from COVID-19 every six minutes in the country, but vaccine scepticism remains high. read more

The European Commission said on Friday it had coordinated the shipment to Romania of 250 oxygen concentrators, crucial devices to boost the supply of medical oxygen which is needed to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients.

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Poland sent 50 of the 250 concentrators, while the remainder came from an EU stockpile.

The EU has also coordinated the shipment of 5,200 vials of monoclonal antibodies from Italy to Romania, the Commission said in a press release. Monoclonal antibodies are an experimental treatment for COVID-19 patients.

The EU will also coordinate the shipment of eight additional oxygen concentrators and 15 ventilators from Denmark. Ventilators help seriously ill COVID-19 patients to breath.

Only about one third of Romania's adult population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to EU public data.

Official data earlier this week showed more than 70% of confirmed infections were in unvaccinated people, as well as 93% of deaths.

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Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio Editing by Mark Potter

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