A doctor in Romania suffered severe burns after trying to save COVID-19 patients from a hospital fire in Piatra Neamt. He has now been flown to Belgium, where he will receive treatment for his burns.
The doctor, named Dr. Catalin Denciu, has been deemed a "hero" by PM Ludovic Orban, said the BBC.
Ten patients died in the fire that erupted in the hospital's intensive care unit (ICU), which spread to an adjoining room.
The cause of the fire is still unknown, and an inquiry has started to find out exactly how such a deadly event happened. The BBC reports that some suggest it was due to a medical appliance catching fire, or due to an electrical short circuit.
The ten patients included seven men and three women, aged between 67 and 86, explained the Guardian's report. Six other COVID-19 patients were seriously injured and brought to a nearby hospital.
Dr. Denciu tried to save patients, leading to 40% of his body suffering second to third-degree burns. He was transported to Belgium's Queen Astrid military hospital after having been looked after in Romania's capital, Bucharest.
"I express my respect for the heroic doctor who showed particular courage and spirit of sacrifice in trying to save the patients," said PM Orban in local news reports, per the Guardian.
#Romania: 10 Die In Fire At COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit. 7 critically injured. including a doctor who wanted to save his patients. The doctor will be transported tomorrow+treated in Belgium.— Sorina Matei🇹🇩 (@SorinaMatei) November 15, 2020
Foto credit: Exploziv TV Neamț pic.twitter.com/eZgRBct975
Romania has reported more than 360,000 cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the outbreak, with nearly 9,000 deaths reported.
The E.U. country has one of the least developed healthcare infrastructures, per the Guardian. There is a shortage of nurses and doctors, which has led to one in four Romanians having insufficient access to healthcare.