Diluted disinfectant in Romania

In the course of research into the fire at Bucharest's Colectiv nightclub, journalists found out that disinfectants with a concentration up to ten times lower than stated on the product label have been in use at Romanian hospitals for years. Romania's press is shocked and hopes that things will change after this scandal.

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Observator Cultural (RO) /

Society must fight indifference

Weekly magazine Observator Cultural hopes the scandal will shake Romanian society into action:

“There were protests on the weekend. Public opinion began to demand reactions. The first was the resignation of the health minister [Patriciu Achimaş-Cadariu, on Monday], who was hesitant and timorous and didn't have the situation under control. The second came from the prime minister himself, who is having the disinfectant and supply contracts inspected. The third measure would be a reality in which society functions smoothly and aims for the well-being of its citizens. … The Gazeta Sporturilor [the sports magazine that uncovered the scandal] is showing that honesty aimed at serving the public good demands reactions: to disasters, to fraud and to indifference. … It is not easy to work like this. But this is the only way to overcome blockades, neglect and people's tendency to forget and to keep hope alive.”

Evenimentul Zilei (RO) /

Doctors should have sounded the alarm

The fact that no one noticed the fraud at the hospitals makes Evenimentul Zilei suspicious:

“How can it be that over all these years not a single hospital director or university professor thought of analysing the disinfectants when so many patients were dying because of infections? Why did it take such a terrible tragedy as the Colectiv fire to expose something that has been obvious for years? The justice system now has the responsibility not just to uncover the main culprits as quickly as possible but to see to it that everyone who was involved in these criminal dealings goes on trial. Because it's impossible to believe that so many directors of hospitals kept on using the watered-down disinfectant without asking any questions.”

România liberă (RO) /

Corruption really does kill

România Liberă on the other hand praises all those who worked to expose the fraud:

“The journalists of Rise Project also uncovered the fact that the watered-down disinfectant came from dealers who purchased it from Germany for eight euros per litre. ... After a detour to tax haven Cyprus the price had risen to 100 euros per litre by the time the disinfectant reached Romanian hospitals. ... Hexi Pharma's watered-down disinfectant is also to blame for the years of persistent hospital infections in Romania during which operations were carried out successfully yet the patient still died. The often deliberate indifference of the authorities has led to the death of so many people. 'Corruption kills' was not just a slogan on the streets after the Colectiv tragedy, it is a reality that journalists have now exposed. They are trying to save us from the cynicism of the state.”