stacking bodies up outside morgue in a hospital while Romania struggles with fourth wave of Covid

“I never thought, when I started this job, that I live through something like this,” said Ionita. “I never thought that such a catastrophe could happen, that we would end… up sending entire families to their graves.”

Several floors above, all beds but one in the hospital’s now expanded intensive care units were: full. A nurse was changing the sheets on the one empty bed — empty, because the person who occupy it now lag in the morgue.

Romania has one of Europes lowest vaccination rate.
Just below 36% of the population has been vaccinated, although the country’s vaccination campaign got off to a good start last December.

Medical workers and officials attribute this low vaccination rate rate to a variety of factors, including suspicion of the authorities, deeply held religious beliefs, and a flood of disinformation die flows through social media.

dr.  Alexandra Munteanu, pictured in the Palatul Copiilor vaccination center in Bucharest on November 16, is ready to vaccinate as much as possible people if necessary - if only they would come.

When Dr. Alexandra Munteanu, 32, arrived for duty Bee one of Bucharest vaccination centers after a night shift in hospital, she found turnout was low. She is stunned that gravity of the sickness just does not appear to have sunk in. “There are many of doctors, including myself, who work with Covid patients, and that’s what we’re trying to tell people this disease really exists,” she said.

An of the country’s loudest and most talked-about anti-vaxxers is Diana Sosoaca, a member of the Romanian Senate. In one of her many public stunts die she tried to block people from entering a vaccine center in her constituency in the northeast of the country.

“If You Love You” children, stop the vaccinations,” she says in a video clip on her Facebook page. “Do not kill them!”

The most important way of    stopping another Covid wave

The vaccinations on offer in Romania has been extensively tested for use in children and have proven to be safe and effective, but that doesn’t stop her and others from spreading wild rumours on social media and local television.

Civil servants and medical personnel are annoyed that public numbers have done so much to undermine their efforts.

“Look at the realitysaid Colonel Dr. Valeriu Gheorghita, an army doctor who runs the national vaccination campaign. “We have our intensive care units full of patients. We have alot of new cases. Unfortunately we have hundreds of kill every day. So this is the reality. And more than 90% of patients who deceased were not vaccinated.”

a banner in Bucharest shows doctors at work on Covid-19 patients with this message: "They are suffocating.  they beg us.  They are sorry."

A huge banner has disappeared in Bucharest up, covering half the facade of An building on a large boulevard. “They’re choking. They’re begging” us. They are sorry”, the words are printed in enormous black letters above black-white photos of doctor struggling over Covid patients in an intensive care unit.

down below, few passers-by glance up on the poster, and even less cared for share their thoughts with cnn. But soon will go die banner gone up in other major cities in the country.

“There is manipulation”, said a woman who gave her name only as Claudia and added: “Some people do not believe in the vaccinations.”

Mayor: ‘It is not a safe vaccine’

Nowhere is that suspicion more clear then in the countryside, true Covid-19 vaccination rates drop to about half of die in urban areas.
Suceava County, an hour’s flight to the northeast of Bucharest, has the lowest total vaccination rate in the country.

here the manager of the main hospital, dr. Alexandru Calancea, 40, tells over the particularity of this region, where he was born and raised.

Austria announces Europe's .  at first nationwide vaccine mandate and reset the lockdown in as Covid-19 increases

“This county is very religious. This is a… area that has a strong religious tradition, and many of religious people. […] Very little [priests] are pro-vaccine, and I sure know some who are anti-vax. Most of they also choose not to say anything for of against. We have evidence, from the hospital, from patients who come from the same religious communities where their priest, of their pastor advised them not to be vaccinated, just like Which.”

Only outside suceava, in the village of Bosanci, such a pastor also serves as mayor of the village. Neculai Miron has been one of the most outspoken anti-vax public figures in the country, and today is no different.

“Were not against vaccination, but we want to verify it, to satisfy our anxieties, want there have been many side effects,” he told CNN. “We don’t think the vaccine components are very safe. It’s not a safe vaccine.”

Neculai Miron, Mayor of the village of bosanci, in Suceava County, expresses its opinion against the vaccine -- he doesn't think it's safe.

The medical records don’t affect him, and neither does the local GP, die he took the CNN team see.

dr. Daniela Afadaroaie administers the vaccine to approximately 10 people every other day, using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The latest official records show Which just under 11% of the village has been vaccinated if of begin Nov 2021.

While she over the situation spoke in the village, the mayor, Miron, hovered around it bureau from the doctor, gazing down at the newspapers on her bureau to see who had been vaccinated.

‘When will you be vaccinated, Mr. Mayor?’ asked Afadaroaie, laughing.

“Not me need to get vaccinated,” he shot back. “I’m perfectly healthy.” The doctor’s explanation that the vaccine helps you keep that way fell on deaf ears.

Pastor: ‘I believe what I see, in instead of what I hear’

In rural villages like this, poverty and lack of education, together with personal influence of local leaders and traditional religious beliefs, can make for An deadly combination.

But the local Pentecostal preacher, Dragos Croitoru, insisted he was unaware of any deaths from Covid-19 in the parish. “Here in the church, we have no cases of people who are sick with coronavirus. We have a zero percent mortality rate, Not me know anyone who passed away of coronavirus here in our parish. And I believe what I see in rather than what I hear,” he said.

Despite hearing from CNN over the bodies of Covid-19 victims die the morgue of the University Hospital of Bucharest, Croitoru, were not convinced. “Bucharest is bigger than Bosanci, as far as I’m concerned know,” he chuckled. “We haven’t had one dead. We may have had some people who been sick in the village, yes, as far as I know, Yes. But mortality rate in our church has been zero.”

the mortality rate is certainly high elsewhere in this predominantly rural province. Suceava in third place highest in Covid-19 death rates for the whole country as of begin November, according to figures from the Public Health Unit, die the deaths in keeps an eye on.

Freshly laid graves in the largest cemetery in suceava, in northeast of Romania, which has the third-highest Covid-19 death rate rate in    the country.

AN corner of the main cemetery in Suceava, the provincial capital about 10 minutes from Bosanci, is full of freshly dug graves. A service is underway in the cemetery chapel. On the hill behind the chapel, mourners gather for a funeral. Another grave is being prepared nearby.

The wooden crosses over each new grave does not give the . at cause of death, so it’s unclear how many died of the virus. A man at work on one of however the graves said the number of people being buried of late was far higher than normal.

“Eternal regret”, reads a ribbon draped over one of the graves.

Back in the morgue of the University Hospital of Bucharest, a doctor hit a nail in a wooden box. A colleague sprayed the box with disinfectant.

for those who die of Covid, there will be no funerals in open chests occur.

“The vaccine means the difference between life and… death” said Ionita, the nurse. “People should understand that. Could be in their last o’clock she should understand that.”

for those die be cloaked in the black body bags for him, it is already too late.

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