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"The return to normal won't be possible until we get a vaccine against Sars-Cov-2"

Recorded by George Marinescu (TRANSLATED BY COSMIN GHIDOVEANU)
English Section /

"The return to normal won't be possible until we get a vaccine against Sars-Cov-2"

The announcement by president Klaus Iohannis concerning the easing of the measures taken during the state of emergency, starting with May 15th, has created a general state state of expectation among the population, that quickly wants to return to the normal life it used to have before the pandemic. Experts claim that the gradual manner in which the easing measures will be complied with, the manner in which the pandemic will evolve and the speed at which a vaccine or a therapy will be developed globally will affect the date when we will be able to resume the life we had prior to the decree of the state of emergency.

Dr. Adrian Marinescu, one of the main communicators about Covid-19 in our country during this pandemic, consulting doctor of Infectious Diseases, told us in an interview at the National Institute Prof. Dr. Matei Balş, what will happen after May 15.

(Interview with Dr. Adrian Marinescu, Matei Balş National Institute)

Reporter: What are the measures that can be relaxed in the first stage after May 15, 2020?

Adrian Marinescu: The beginning of the easing of the measures that was announced for May 15th, is still subject to the numerical evidence that we are on a clear downward trend. In the first stage, we are talking about the possibility to travel freely within the city without needing a statement. We will also be able to travel in groups of a maximum of three individuals. In the first stage parks will reopen (but not playgrounds), as well as barber shops and retail areas that have direct street access. I want to clarify that hotels will be open, but not the restaurants within them.

Reporter: When do you think that restaurants, coffee shops and bars can be reopened?

Adrian Marinescu: After two weeks from the moment of the easing, it will be first possible to open outdoor restaurants, followed by indoor ones. In that case, there will be a spacing of the tables and Swedish buffet will not be allowed.

Reporter: Why have parks been shut down, when in other countries, such as Norway, parks have remained open, so that people can exercise outdoors?

Adrian Marinescu: Parks will be open on the occasion of the first easing measures, but in keeping with the social distancing and hygiene rules. So far, they have remained close because there is the real risk of people coming into contact and getting sick. Until the time of the easing, people can take trips and run around the house.

Reporter: What recommendations do you have for citizens to take after the restrictions on circulation are lifted after May 15th?

Adrian Marinescu: We should all be thinking about the fact that we are entering a new stage of cohabitation with the virus; it will be harmonious if we follow the measures of prevention. Responsibility will first of all be individual. We can think and act in a balanced manner when it comes to what we do every day.

Dr. Adrian Marinescu: "There is no efficient vaccine so far and no efficient therapy against this pandemic"

Reporter: Are masks in indoor spaces and in common transportation vehicles are enough to prevent taking on the virus?

Adrian Marinescu: Protective masks are just one of the prevention measures; it is mandatory to follow the others as well in order to fight the contagion efficiently.

Reporter: Are the elderly and those with comorbidities the most at risk of getting sick? Why?

Adrian Marinescu: Elderly people and those with chronic diseases have net high risk of getting severe forms because they have a low immunity, because it can worsen their preexisting issues and there is also the direct connection to the virus. Concretely, patients who are diabetic, have kidney problems, have cancer or are obese will end up with complications more easily, because there are imbalances in the body from the virus, but also from the underlying disease.

Reporter: Why is the current pandemic more dangerous than the one in the past?

Adrian Marinescu: Because we are talking about a pandemic, which means an important spread across the globe. Moreover, the spread of the phenomenon is unprecedented. We are talking about a virus that is very contagious and which has a mortality rate that is very clearly bigger than the flu viruses. Last but not least, we do not yet have a a vaccine as an efficient prevention measure not treatments with a proven effectiveness.

Reporter: How do you explain that people who have tested negatively after leaving the testing, they have tested positive for Covid-19 upon exiting the hospital? Such cases have been registered in Italy, France and Spain.

Adrian Marinescu: Such cases are not frequent, but they appear all over the world, even in Romania. There are several explanations: either there are inactive virus fragments (the PCR test comes out positive, but that doesn't mean the patient has an active infection), or there is a fluctuating evolution and that the viral load has slight variations and can be above/below the detection limit of the genetic test or a problem of sample harvesting.

The pandemic, reduced to the epidemic stage after two or three seasons

Reporter: Based on your information, are we talking about a man made virus or an artificial one?

Adrian Marinescu: It is hard to say for sure; most data of experts in the world are talking about a natural evolution. We are taking into account the structure of the virus, the way the pandemic has evolved. There is one important clarification to make: in China the pandemic risk has existed in the past and will continue to exist in the future, following the maintaining of some traditions (live animal markets) and the unprecedented population density.

Reporter: How can the flu stems and DNA remains from HIV coexist within Sars-Cov 2? Is that possible naturally?

Adrian Marinescu: Yes, and that is why, we are all the more thinking about a natural evolution for this virus. Sars Cov2 is also part of the coronavirus family just like SARS, a family which is responsible for many infections in humans.

Reporter: Why are one in seven people infected by Covid-19 medical employees?

Adrian Marinescu: Infected medical staff exist all over the world; in Italy 10% of the infected people have been medical staff. People coming into contact with Covid-19 have a higher risk than the population. Moreover, there is also the community transmission, which is why the infection can also occur outside the hospital and then spread inside the hospital.

Reporter: In their case, are we talking about the failure to follow the medical intervention protocols or the negligence of some of the management of the hospitals?

Adrian Marinescu: As I was saying above, we are also talking about the community spread. Let's not forget that the medical staff travels to work daily.

Reporter: What are the predictions of specialists concerning people's cohabitation with the new coronavirus?

Adrian Marinescu: A pandemic of such proportions has a duration of 2-3 seasons with a subsequent evolution of an epidemic nature. There will most likely be a second peak of the pandemic, with a low intensity. We can expect the flu and the coronavirus to exist alongside one another in the 2020/2021 winter.

Reporter: When do experts estimate that we will resume our daily activities like they were prior to the pandemic?

Adrian Marinescu: The return to normal will be possible when we get a vaccine. Until then, prevention measures will enter our routine until we get a balanced life.

Reporter: Thanks.

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