Romania confirms first COVID-19 case after man had contact with Italian visitor

Romania’s Health Minister Victor Costache has confirmed the first coronavirus infection in the southeastern Europe nation. A man from the southwestern county of Gorj has tested positive and his condition at this time is good and that he is not showing symptoms.

Costache said the man, who was not identified, had contact with a 71-year-old Italian from Rimini during a hunting trip in Romania, writes Radio Free Europe

"He is in a good condition and will be transferred to a Bucharest infectious hospital," Costache told the news conference.

He told reporters that the “evolution of the virus is unpredictable -- there may be no more cases, one more case, two cases or more.”

“But his is not an epidemic. We are talking about a single case. And if we talk about two, three, four cases, it's still not an epidemic,” he added.

Raed Arafat, an infectious disease expert, said the man was living in a residence with at least six other people, all of whom have tested negative for the COVID-19 virus that globally has killed more than 2,700 people and infected some 81,000 others, most of them in China.

Earlier this week, the Romanian Health Ministry said that all persons returning from northern Italy – where the outbreak has been the most severe – would be subject to a 14-day quarantine and that medical staff had been deployed to the border points.

Romanian Interior Minister Ion Marcel Vela said that “we call for calm, responsibility, and involvement in following all our communications and all recommendations made by the Ministry of Health or by [the Emergency Situations Department].”

“We will manage…and we, as a nation, will overcome this challenge because we are strong.

“This coronavirus is a test for us, which we will surely go through together,” he added.

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