News media report that four people have been killed in a fire in the Matei Bals Hospital in Bucharest. The hospital is one of the country’s major centres for treatment of COVID-19. The fire service was called at about 03:00 on 29 January and assisted in the evacuation of 102 people. The hospital manager said that although the hospital was built in 1953 it had been completely renovated. Health Minister Vlad Voiculescu said, ‘It is obvious there is a problem. We are talking about the most-funded institute in the country.’
There was no mention of sprinklers and as in most European countries, Romanian fire safety regulations do not require sprinklers in hospitals or other healthcare buildings. As a result these buildings and their vulnerable occupants are at an elevated risk from fire. In November 2020 a fire in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Piatra Neamt killed 10 people.