Saturday, February 27, 2021

Deutsche Welle, About Moldova’s Second Pandemic Fight: No Vaccine, No Government and Exhausted Health System


Since the beginning of the pandemic, COVID-19 has killed 3,780 people and infected 176,000. The problems of the Republic of Moldova in the fight against COVID-19 do not only amount to a gloomy balance sheet, according to the analysis made by Deutsche Welle.

The situation is much more complicated: the neighboring country, where Romania has sent medical equipment worth almost 2.3 million euros, does not have a functioning government and no money in the 2021 budget for the purchase of vaccines.

Chisinau was supposed to receive the first doses of vaccine on the COVAX platform since the beginning of January, but this has not happened yet, due to the lack of interest of the authorities, due to political instability.

The government resigned, refusing to manage the pandemic

On November 15, 2020, the presidential election was won by Maia Sandu, a pro-European politician. In December, a few hours before she was sworn in, the government led by Ion Chicu, considered to be controlled by former pro-Russian President Igor Dodon, resigned. The executive refused to provide the interim until the new government was inaugurated.

As a result, there was no one to manage the pandemic and a possible vaccination campaign. “We researched, we tried to find out where the ministry is with the preparation for the vaccine. The ministry is nowhere! ”, Said the president Maia Sandu.

Only on January 11, 2021, the Ministry of Health presented, in a conference, the National Immunization Plan against COVID-19.

At that time, the ministry announced that Moldova would receive the first doses of vaccine by the end of the month, and vaccination could begin in February. However, the vaccine did not arrive until mid-February, and the new deadline is the end of this month, DW journalists also note.

Meanwhile, no one is talking about the immunization campaign, although on January 18 the Ministry of Health set up a communication group on vaccination, which journalists learned of in February.

No money for vaccines in the 2021 budget

Moreover, in the 2021 budget, the former government did not provide any leu for the purchase of anti-Covid vaccines.

On the COVAX platform, Moldova will receive 20% of the required vaccine free of charge. Romania also promised 200,000 doses, which means another 3%. However, in order to break the “pandemic chain” it is necessary that 70% of the population be vaccinated in a very short time, warn the specialists.

Without a functioning government, Moldova has two solutions: either it uses the government’s reserve fund for the purchase of vaccines, or donations from the international community.

Moldova has entered the second wave of the pandemic, in which the disease lasts longer and develops harder. People do not respect sanitary measures, following the example of politicians. Meanwhile, new strains of the coronavirus have already entered the country, but the state does not have the capacity to detect them. Authorities say they send the samples to a laboratory in Germany, but refuse to give details about the results, the journalists also note.

The medical system can no longer cope with overload

Under the given conditions, the medical system is overworked and does not cope with the growing number of patients.

We are once again at the limit of hospitals’ ability to receive and care for patients. Medical staff work at physical limits. Medical devices, oxygen and logistics are also at the limit.

Adrian Belîi, head of the ATI Department of the Institute of Emergency Medicine in Chisinau:

According to unofficial data, the medical system in Moldova operates with a deficit of 40% of specialized personnel for intensive care.

Specialists told DW that it would take at least 20 years to cover the gap. During this time, none of those currently working should leave the system.

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