(ANSA-AFP) - BUCHAREST, 26 MAR - Romania's Health Minister Victor Costache resigned on Thursday following criticism of the government over its handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Costache did not give a reason for his resignation while Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said it was for "personal and professional reasons." Orban added: "I regret his resignation, I understand it and I want to thank him for the good collaboration." The government has come under fire as Romania's hospitals struggle to cope with an increasing number of coronavirus patients. On Wednesday Costache told a TV news channel that all of Bucharest's population would be tested for COVID-19, a plan widely panned as not feasible and misguided when medical staff do not have access to widespread testing. Many Romanian doctors and nurses have also taken to social media to criticise the lack of protective medical equipment such as masks and gloves. A number of medical professionals have also contracted the virus. Romania has confirmed 1,029 cases of the new coronavirus so far, with almost 16,000 tests carried out. (ANSA-AFP).