Fact Check: Romanian Hospitals Are NOT Banning Family Members From Seeing COVID Patients So They Could Kill Them

Fact Check

  • by: Ioana Burtea
Fact Check: Romanian Hospitals Are NOT Banning Family Members From Seeing COVID Patients So They Could Kill Them No Evil Plan

Are Romanian hospitals using the latest surge in COVID-19 to ban relatives from seeing coronavirus patients so they could kill them? No, that's not true: These are normal restictions. One county hospital in Buzau banned visits to four of its departments and limited visiting hours to two per day in all others, due to the fact that it became the center of an outbreak in August 2023. The claim that doctors are doing this in order to kill patients is unsubstantiated.

The story originated from a TikTok video published by @iondragoshoreabarezerva on September 6, 2023 (archived here) with the following description (translated from Romanian by Lead Stories):

How are we in Romania? The stupidity is starting in Buzau and Bucuresti. Slava Romania.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-09-11 at 14.44.21.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Sep 11 11:25:59 2023 UTC)

Buzau County Hospital took the step of restricting access to four specific areas within the hospital on August 29, 2023. This measure was implemented in order to minimize the potential for COVID-19 transmission during a surge in cases and affected the following departments: intensive care, neonatology, maternity, and oncology. In the rest of the hospital, visits were still allowed for two hours per day, between 10-12:00.

The restrictions were put in place after a psychiatric hospital in Buzau County was confirmed to be a source of an outbreak of COVID-19 and the number of cases has risen all over the county, including in the main hospital.

The previous week over 4.700 new cases were confirmed in Romania, while the beginning of August didn't see more than 900 cases per week.

The user's claim that the restrictions in Buzau are meant to hide the fact that doctors and nurses are killing patients is in line with previous conspiracy theories launched by extremist right-wing politicians, like Diana Sosoaca,that have been debunked by Lead Stories.

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  Ioana Burtea

Ioana Burtea has worked in journalism for 15 years. She started her career at Mediafax news agency in Bucharest and has written for DoR magazine for over seven years. Her collaborations include publications like Europe & Me, New Eastern Europe, Balkan Insight and Washington Post. Ioana published pieces on the justice system in Romania, social affairs, politics and personal essays. In 2018,  she became a fellow of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.  In 2021, she received the first prize in the Portrait category at the national Superscrieri journalism awards.

Read more about or contact Ioana Burtea

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