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Reintegration

Russia Deputy FM at Tiraspol: Calls on Russian troops withdrawal are just diplomatic exercises, to be talked within 5+2

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21 March 2018- The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Grigory Karasin, paid a visit to the Transnistrian region of Moldova and conducted talks with the separatist authorities of the so-called “Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic”.

According to the press-release of the Transnistrian “presidency”, Karasin took note of the progress on the issues around the opened bridge Gura Bîcului-Bîcioc, the functioning of the Latin script schools, the recognition of Transnistrian diplomas, the land use in Dubăsari district, as well as the participation of Transnistrian cars in the international traffic and the freight train transport. The “report” on the issues was made by the Transnistrian so-called president Vadim Krasnoselski.

In his turn, Deputy FM Karasin acknowledged the activity of the negotiation format that resulted in achieving “practical, real steps”. The Russian diplomat notably appreciated the process of voting in the Russian Presidential elections in Transnistria.

Even he was reluctant during his visit in Chișinău, Karasin made a clearer a statement at Tiraspol on the Russian troops’ presence in Moldova. Calling them “diplomatic exercises”, Karasin disregarded the calls on the withdrawal of Russian troops with no constructive consequences:

“Everything must be solved in the current formats, that are well-known: through international dialogues, through dialogue between the leadership of Transnistria and Moldova. Otherwise, the issue will not be resolved. This was directly told to the leadership of Moldova too. I hope that our position is heard”, said Karasin, answering to press questions.

Besides the 441 “peacekeepers”, Russia holds the Operative Group of the Russian Forces in the Transnistrian region of Moldova containing approximately 1200 regular soldiers, mainly recruited among locals. The Group is the new shape of the former 14th Guards Army of the Soviet Union that is illegally stationed in Transnistria after the collapse of SU. The Group and the Peacekeeping Mission are strongly interconnected through the rotation of troops between them, and both contain local Transnistrian men with Russian passports, despite their neutrality claims.

In 2017 and the start of 2018, experts have seen a significant increase in OGRT’s military activity.

The Republic of Moldova addressed the United Nations with the request to include the issue of the withdrawal of the Russian peacekeeping forces from Transnistria to the agenda of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly. In a letter from the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Moldova to the UN, Victor Moraru stated that the presence of Russian troops “constitutes a danger to the maintenance of international peace and security.” The subject was due to be discussed in the plenary session of the UN General Assembly on 23 October but then was delayed by the Moldovan Representative to the UN.

Reintegration

Coronavirus in Transnistria: the first death and mandatory isolation in sanatoriums

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Two weeks ago, the Transnistrian authorities were announcing that all the necessary measures against COVID-19 are taken and that no cases of coronavirus were confirmed on the territory of the region. Today, a woman died because of the virus, her test results being confirmed at Chisinau. The patient had been hospitalised in the section of pulmonary of a Tiraspol hospital together with a patient who was suspected of being infected with novel coronavirus.

The diagnosis was made postmortem, Newsmaker informed citing a local TV station. According to doctors, the woman developed bilateral pneumonia and had diabetes and heart disease.

All in all, there are 18 confirmed cases of infection with coronavirus in the region.

The day before the woman died, the head of the medical institution, as well the head of the pulmonary section were fired. They were accused of “negligence and irresponsibility”, as one person from the section was found infected with coronavirus and, as a result, 50 persons (including the deceased person) had to be transferred to another medical institution from Transnistria where assistance to coronavirus patients was provided.

All medical test samples from Transnistria are taken to the authorised medical labs from Chisinau, as there are no institutions approved to process the COVID-19 tests in the separatist region.

At the same time, because of  not enough medical staff, 600 young specialists who are still students were allowed to carry out internships in the Transnistrian hospitals, while retired workers were advised to work remotely or to take paid leave.

The drugs that are not found in Transnistria are to be bought from a pharmacy network in the area, after the citizens order them 2-3 days in advance.

Transnistrian authorities requested acquisition of tests and thermometers from the Russian Government.

Doctors who are engaged in treating patients with COVID-19 and all employees of a regional power plant were isolated in the rooms of two sanatoriums. All of them are not allowed to see their relatives and all the necessary supplies are supposed to be delivered by the employees of the so-called Ministry of Internal Affairs who are in charge with managing the isolation buildings.

Starting from March 27, retired citizens and those with chronic diseases began to be put on a special list by authorities. The main objective is to visit these citizens at the place of their residence while insisting to comply with the self-isolation regime.

Photo: anticoruptie.md

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The desperate call of Moldovan doctors and the reasons why medical system can’t resist for too long

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The first medical employee from the Republic of Moldova, Ecaterina Litvinschi – a 79-year-old woman who died because of coronavirus – was buried these days. The woman worked as a medical emergency doctor at at a National Center for Emergency Medicine for about 35 years. According to her relatives’ declarations, she was buried on the edge of a Chisinau cemetery, in a special area where those contaminated with coronavirus were expected to be buried:

sector 277, tomb no. 1

“Historically, those who end their days by suicide were buried on the far side or outside the cemetery. Is that an “honour” attached to a hero doctor?” wondered a relative of the deceased doctor.

Also, the relatives of the medical emergency doctor mentioned that the hospital administration, where the victim was previously hospitalised, insisted to not disclose the fact that Ecaterina was infected being on call to an already infected person, without special equipment and without being warned by the emergency service 112.

Not enough protective measures for medical staff

Out of the currently confirmed 298 cases of infections with COVID-19, 60 are medical workers, according to the information provided by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection. Moreover, until two days ago, authorities refused to present information on cases of COVID-19 infection among medical workers, giving assurances that doctors have protective equipment and urging journalists not to seek sensations.

The National Ombudsman Mihail Cotorobai made a request addressed to Prime Minister Ion Chicu, in which he informed about the intention of a high number of doctors to submit letter of resignation due to the lack of the protective equipment, which would provide safe working conditions to the medical personnel.

Mihail Cotorobai asked to urgently identify additional funds to ensure protective measures against COVID-19 contagion, both at the level of hospital medical institutions and at the level of primary health care centres. “The recommended measures are imperative both to ensure the patients’ right to high-quality medical services, as well as to ensure safety of the employees of the health system who are put at major risk of contagion due to non-working conditions,” the Ombudsman said.

Currently, six medical institutions in the country are being involved in the treatment of coronavirus patients. Next week other district and municipal medical institutions will be delegated to hospitalise infected patients. The authorities announced that a triage centre is prepared to be organised at the Moldexpo Exhibition Center. By Wednesday, it will be fully equipped, including with 700 beds.

“The number of confirmed cases is increasing, we reiterate the call to citizens to be very cautious. We are sure that if we follow the rules, we will not allow a jump in coronavirus cases and we will have the capacity to handle the situation. This gloomy scenario can be avoided if we are supportive. It is clear that we will overcome this situation, and the authorities and citizens will make the necessary efforts,” stated the prime minister during a press conference.

The announcement of the prime minister sounded optimistic. More and more desperate calls appear online though, being posted by journalists, politicians, artists, regarding the precarious situation in the medical institutions of the Republic of Moldova. Most of them are made anonymously, as medical workers fear to lose their jobs.

The member of the Parliament Radu Marian posted on social media, on March 28, a message sent to him by a person whose mother works as a nurse at the municipal hospital in Balti (one of the hospitals involved in the treatment of coronavirus patients).

“My mother is scared to go to work. She receives one mask for 24 hours and 2 pairs of gloves without other equipment. They write something else on the paper. It’s like fighting on a battlefield without any weapons. […] I wrote to you as a child who is afraid of losing his mother because of the incompetence of the authorities and because of the situation in the hospitals of Moldova,” is said in the message.

According to the data presented by the authorities, during this weekend, there were reported the most cases of infection per day since the beginning of the epidemic in Moldova.

Not enough resources

Doctor in medical sciences, specialist in Intensive Care, Tihon Moraru called on the authorities to take urgent measures on acquiring the necessary equipment for managing the patients in need for intensive care. He mentioned that in order to be able to provide the necessary treatment to 50-100 critical patients, there is a need of at least 30 to 40 high performance mechanical ventilators, produced in the USA, Germany or Japan.

“I am afraid that we are late by 3-4 weeks, it will be very difficult for the equipment to be brought to the country. This can only be achieved by the authorities of our country and as quickly as possible. […] I believe that the maximum number of hospitalisations for the serious and critical patients will be between the middle of April and the beginning of May, which is why this devices of vital necessity must be brought to the country as urgently as possible. […] They are very necessary for the intensive care units of the country, especially those of the district hospitals of the country, where these devices are outdated,” specified Tihon Moraru.

The Moldovan authorities announced that 200 thousand protective screens and 500 filter masks were purchased in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the purchased protective screens represent only 10% of the announced necessary quantity, while the acquired amount of filter masks cover 25% of the health system current needs, reported ZdG.

Being contacted by ZdG, the manager of the company responsible for acquiring the protective goods said that, at the moment, the company does not have the products in stock, while importing them from China is a complicated procedure that will surely result in delivery delays, given the pandemic conditions.

Not enough tested persons

Another 32 people were lastly confirmed as being infected with the new type of coronavirus, after 246 samples were processed in the laboratory of the National Agency for Public Health, announced the sanatateinfo.md portal. That amounts a total of 5 324 persons who were tested, including family doctors and mayors. Given the exponential growth rate of the contagion demonstrated in other countries, the number of tested persons in the Republic of Moldova can be concluded as being way too low.

Enough Government assurances that “all is kept under control”

For purchasing 200 000 protective screens and 500 000 filter masks, the Government of the Republic of Moldova approved the allocation of 36 million lei from the reserve fund. “It is a measure to ensure protective equipment for the next period. We have enough equipment, but we are preparing for the second half of April and May,” said Prime Minister Ion Chicu.

At the same time, some district hospitals already have taken decisions of replacing at least a part of their old equipment using their institution budget or by applying to international funds and calling for foreign governments’ donations of protective goods, disinfectants, tests, etc.

Photo: Facebook| Ala Nemerenco

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Reintegration

Coronavirus in Transnistria: the situation at the border and in hospitals

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Just like in Moldova, the authorities of Transnistria have declared, on March 17, state of emergency in the region. However, state of emergency was established only until April 5. Public events were banned and places for public events were closed. Still, churches and markets remained open.

According to the so-called Ministry of Health in the separatist region, there are five people suspected of a new type coronavirus in Transnistria, 10 people who were in contact with them being quarantined at home.

The border guard imposed restrictions for crossing the border of the region with Ukraine and Moldova. Therefore, leaving the Transnistrian territory is possible nowadays only in three cases: in case of necessity to provide emergency medical assistance in foreign medical institutions, for attending the funeral ceremony of relatives, and for solving matters related to ensuring the vital needs of the state (with the prior agreement of the command centre), Infotag News Agency informed.

A journalist from Căușeni- a Moldovan district at the border of Transnistria – announced that several doctors and police officers residing in Transnistria and working in Căușeni, have to remain overnight at work for an indefinite period, after the Transnistrian side has closed its borders for them.

Hospitals in Transnistria reported to have a total of 73 artificial respiration devices and plan to buy more in the coming days. If the epidemiological situation becomes more complicated, additional beds are planned to be deployed in all hospitals in the region.

At the same time, it was decided to restrict the admission of the public to hospitals and clinics. The entry will be allowed at the decision of the team on duty after performing the disinfection procedures and measuring the temperature.

According to the authorities, 35% of the population of Transnistria or 140 thousand people are at risk of infecting with coronavirus.

See also: Is COVID-19 taken seriously? Government’s actions and people’s behaviour

Photo: Flickr / Dieter Zirnig

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