A Romanian doctor who suffered severe burns after trying to save Covid-19 patients from a hospital fire has been taken to Belgium for treatment.
Dr Catalin Denciu was called “heroic” by PM Ludovic Orban, who praised his “particular courage and spirit of sacrifice” trying to save the patients.
Ten patients died in the blaze at the hospital in Piatra Neamt on Saturday.
An inquiry has been launched into how the deadly fire broke out in the public hospital’s intensive care unit.
The fire also spread to an adjoining room.
Some reports suggest a medical appliance caught fire, igniting a nearby oxygen cylinder. Regional officials say the unit was moved from the third floor of the hospital to the second without official notification.
Seven men and three women, aged between 67 and 86, died in the fire. Six other Covid-19 patients injured in the fire were transferred to another hospital in the city of Iasi.
Dr Denciu was transferred to Belgium’s Queen Astrid military hospital, having been taken to the capital Bucharest after suffering second to third degree burns to 40% of his body, officials said.
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis called it a “huge tragedy” and said it was important to find out what had happened “in order to avoid similar situations in future”.
Romania has reported more than 360,000 cases of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, and nearly 9,000 deaths.
Nearly 13,000 Covid-19 patients were in hospital across Romania as of Sunday, including 1,169 in intensive care units, Reuters news agency reports.