Covid doctor claims Romania has ‘four times more cases’ than reported

Foto: INQUAM/Octav Ganea

A Romanian
doctor who runs a hospital treating Covid-19 patients has claimed that there
are four times more new cases than are actually reported every day.

Beatric Mahler, manager of the Marius Nasta Institute for Lung Diseases, said that in her opinion there were more than 20,000 infections every day.

Romania has been reporting under 5,000 new SARS-CoV-2 cases in the past couple of days, a drop from the 6,000 daily figures of previous weeks. On Sunday, some 3,300 new cases were reported, but the comparatively low figure reflected a drop in testing over the weekend. About 15.5% of those tested were confirmed positive.

But Dr
Mahler says she believes the official figures are far less than reality,

Romania recorded
about 10,000 cases and 1,000 in intensive care at the height of the pandemic in
November which led to new restrictions.

Despite the
fewer cases, the number of patients needing intensive care treatment has risen
to 1,500, with more seriously ill patients reported every day.

Asked
about the apparent discrepancy, Dr Mahler said: “I think there are four times
more cases than reported. My opinion is that there are 20,000 cases a day.”

Cases may
be underreported, as Romania isn’t testing as much as other countries.

„If we
look at how many people have been hospitalized compared to diagnosed cases, it’s
not looking good. We have a higher percentage (of hospitalized cases), she said.

She also
said there were a variety of Covid-19 strains and mutations which further
complicated the situation.

She noted that Covid-19 symptoms had changed and doctors were treating  “more difficult cases.”