Romania sees huge jump in COVID-19 cases, deaths climb

FILE - People watch from a passing bus health workers protesting outside the government building in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Tighter pandemic measures have come into force in Romania as authorities hope to quell sharply rising coronavirus cases amid concerns that the next virus wave could overstretch the country's health care system. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda. File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania on Wednesday recorded a huge jump in COVID-19 infections, hitting a pandemic record of nearly 35,000 daily cases, almost doubling its previous record set only a day earlier. Deaths have also begun to climb.

Daily coronavirus cases in Romania have dramatically surged over the past month, from about a 1,000 cases a day in mid-December to the pandemic record of 34,255 cases on Wednesday. Its daily death toll was 94, also the highest number of virus deaths in more than a month.

Three-quarters of those deaths were unvaccinated people and more than 80% of the 692 COVID-19 patients now in intensive care in Romania have also not been jabbed, official data shows.

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Romania, which has seen nearly 60,000 deaths since the pandemic began, is the European Union’s second-least vaccinated nation, with just 41% fully inoculated compared to a bloc average of 70%.

Health care officials in Romania had predicted a sharp surge of cases amid the fast-spreading omicron variant. But despite the huge numbers of COVID-19 infections, cases are leading to far fewer hospital admissions and deaths compared to Romania's previous virus wave last fall, which brought the country’s health care system to its knees.


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