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BUCHAREST: The number of new coronavirus infections in Romania reached a record high of 40,018 in the past 24 hours, government data showed on Tuesday, with hospitalisations on the rise as the country's vaccine uptake lags.

Romania is the European Union's second-least vaccinated country after Bulgaria, with roughly 41% of the population fully inoculated, reflecting mistrust in state institutions and poor vaccine education.

On Monday there were 903 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units across the country, of which 84% are not vaccinated, official data showed.

Romania's daily COVID-19 infections double after holiday

While the number of hospitalisations has been rising, it is still far below the highs seen at the height of the previous pandemic wave in October and November, when hospitals were overwhelmed and Romania topped global lists of new coronavirus deaths per million.

Ninety-five people died of the virus within the last 24 hours.

The pandemic has killed 60,122 people in the country of 20 million.

From Tuesday, Romania has dropped a demand for travellers to quarantine if they are vaccinated, have proof of recovery from COVID-19 or can provide a negative test result, regardless of where they are coming from.

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