BUCHAREST, March 8 (Xinhua) -- The Romanian health authorities announced late Monday that two cases of the coronavirus variant first found in Brazil have been confirmed in the country.
They were from the capital city of Bucharest, both symptomatic, but with pre-existing medical conditions. The first case, a 38-year-old man, has no history of travel and no known contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, while the second person, aged 57, was from a community outbreak with 3 cases, the possible source being one of his colleagues, according to the National Institute of Public Health.
With the entry of this new variant, the three most important coronavirus mutations in the world have all registered their presence in the eastern European country.
Romania reported last Friday its first two cases of the coronavirus variant first found in South Africa, after confirming in early January the first case of the variant discovered in the UK.
"It was expected. When there is travel and movement, when people go on vacation, it was clear that we would have the stems in Romania," Secretary of State at the Ministry of Internal Affairs Raed Arafat told a local TV station, stressing that one method of prevention remains protection, including mask-wearing and social distancing.
"At this point the vaccine is the optimal solution," said Arafat, who is also the chief of the Department of Emergency Situations, a department that has been playing an important role in the fight against the virus.
The official called on citizens to continue to endure protective measures, even though people's patience has almost reached its limit.
The authorities are trying to take further measures to combat the new wave of pandemic, and hope to ease the situation by stepping up its vaccination campaign that started on Dec. 27, 2020.
Currently, three vaccines have been approved for use in Romania -- those produced by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca.
Globally, 261 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 79 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain, and the United States, according to the latest information released by the World Health Organization.