In Romania, people refusing to get the swine flu jab will have to pay for treatment and hospitalisation in case of an infection. Elsewhere in the news, a new financial crisis paradox: county employment agency is broke and prepared to declare bankruptcy. Last but not least, heavy snows block roads and railways.
Evenimentul Zilei reads the risk persons who refuse to be vaccinated against swine flu will have to pay up the treatment and hospitalisation in case they catch the virus, state secretary in the Health Ministry Dr. Adrian Streinu-Cercel announced. The risk groups are police, medical staff, professors, border guards and the chronically ill. The vaccine costs 4 lei, while a diagnosis test costs 200 lei, plus antiviral drugs, antibiotics and a huge hospitalisation fee. Up until yesterday, 30,000 people got the jab. The authorities aim for 8,500,000.
People do not seem to trust the A/H1N1 jab and postpone or refuse vaccination. In Timis (West), only 10% of the 65,750 dosis have been used. GPs in Bucharest. face management issues: they were supposed to collect the jabs from public health administration offices, but very few have done so. Some GP say they are not notified and learn what they need to do from the press.
The authorities claim the vaccine should be taken because the number of dead continues to grow. The official number of dead people infected with swine flu has now reached 25 in Romania, with the last seven being recorded during the last two days.
The County Employment Agency in Cluj (Central-West) is broke and prepared to declare bankruptcy, Cotidianul informs. The agency had been unable to pay its utility bills for two months now and all the money it gets is used to pay for unemployment benefits. The agency's manager sent letters to utilities providers, asking them to be patient, but since he did not get any reply, he's considering ceasing the agency's activity in January next year.
The unemployment benefits were the VIP of Romanian fiscal measures, the publication goes on. It collected 1% from the total incomes paid in economy and it was able to pay for re-skill courses and professional training. Plus, the money was used as emergency funds for when the going got tough in the sector.
But the Cluj Employment Agency manager believes the VIP turned into a fiscal Cinderella because "there is a lack of realism in estimating the unemployment in a year of crisis". For the last two months, he has paid from his own pocket for using the institution's car. With 1,600 staff expecting salaries, Daniel Don admits that the agency he runs has historic debts. And with Bechtel company announcing another 2,000 job cuts after part of the Transilvania motorway had been completed, the problems are likely to increase.
Heavy snow falls freeze traffic in the country, the Romanian press informs. 200 people were blocked yesterday in a train on the route from Constanta (South-East) to Bucharest, without heating or light, Adevarul reads. Many passengers called the emergency number and requested an ambulance.
According to Gandul, Bucharest sector 1 mayor Andrei Chiliman, present at the snow clearing commandments organised in the Capital after the first snow, said drivers using summer tires should be shot. In the country, national roads and one of the two motorways have been badly affected by the quantity of snow.
The A2 motorway was closed due to glazed frost. When it comes to railways, the authorities haven't bought the device to melt the ice on switches, a cause for further delays and public transport chaos. Traffic in Bucharest was stuck and mayor Sorin Oprescu was thinking of getting the army to help. Sanitation service companies in Bucharest were held responsible for the disastrous way in which they handled the clearing of the roads and Bucharest mayor said there would be penalties.
According to Cotidianul, sanitation service vehicles hired to clear out the snow were blocked yesterday in traffic due to the large number of cars on the street. Bucharest mayor said 250 cars were cleaning the snow in Bucharest on Tuesdays and ploughs were going to be used last night.
The 700 workers, 90,000 litres of anti-freezing chemicals and the tens of vehicles meant to clean the snow didn't manage to make the traffic work. In Ploiesti (South), people had problems getting the cars out of their parking slots due to the 20cm high snow. Cars were driving by 5 km/hour and it was almost impossible to drive out of the city.