A roundup of domestic and international news.
CORONAVIRUS – More than 3,300 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in Romania in 24 hours, and 129 related deaths according to data announced by the authorities on Sunday. More than 13 thousand people are treated in hospital of whom 1,500 in intensive care. The pressure on the medical units treating Covid patients is huge. Over 1 million people tested positive to the virus since the onset of the pandemic and more than 250 thousand have died. So far, over 2.3 million people have been given at least one shot of the Covid vaccine in Romania. On Sunday, PM Florin Citu announced that over 170 new vaccination centres will be opened in the upcoming days and that starting April 15 the vaccination capacity will go as high as 100,000 people per day. A new transport of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will arrive in Romania.
PRINCE PHILIP - The funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the husband of Queen Elisabeth II will be held on April 17, after eight days of national mourning, Buckingham Palace announced. In keeping with the Covid restrictions in place, only 30 people will attend the religious service. Prince Philip will not lie in state. Instead he will lie at rest in Windsor Castle. Monarchs, heads of state and prime ministers across the world have sent heartfelt tributes, praising his exceptional public service. Among them is Princess Margareta, Custodian of the Crown of Romania, the goddaughter and niece of Prince Philip and President Klaus Iohannis.
MIGRANTS - Romanian border policemen in Girla Mare, the Mehedinti county, caught 30 migrants from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq while they were attempting to illegally cross the Danube by boat into Romania, from Serbia. 27 adults aged 18 to 47 and three minors aged 3 to 15 were part of the group. The migrants said they crossed the Serbian border by a motor boat driven by two Syrian citizens, whom they paid 1,200 to 1,500 euros each. The migrants were allegedly planning to get to Western Europe. Investigations are under way.
ASTRA-ZENECA - France has decided to offer an alternative vaccin to people aged below 60 who got the first shot of the Astra Zeneca vaccine. Spain intends to do the same thing, although the WHO announced that, in the absence of clear data, it cannot recommend the change of vaccin between the two doses. Italy goes ahead with the Astra Zeneca vaccination schedule, but, just like a number of other countries, restricted its use for people aged below 60, according to radio Romania’s correspondent to Rome. A link between AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine and rare blood clots is considered plausible but is not confirmed, said the World Health Organisation after the European Medicines Agency on Wednesday said it found a potential link between the Covid vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and rare blood clots in adults who received this jab. The Agency emphasized, however, that the benefits outweigh the risks. Astra Zeneca has recently announced delays for half of its vaccine supplies due to be distributed to the EU this week.
SPORT – Romania won on Sunday two gold and four silver medals at the European Rowing Championships held in Varese, Italy. Nicoleta-Ancuta Bodnar and Simona Geanina Radis, European champions last year in Poznan, Poland, won the gold medal in women’s doubles. Romania also won gold in the women’s eight crew. Adriana Ailincai and Iuliana Buhus won silver in the women’s double sculls while Gianina-Elena Beleaga also won silver in the women’s single sculls. Romania won silver medals in men’s four and men’s eight. Romania comes 4th in the overall standings, after the UK, Italy and the Netherlands. The European Rowing Championships are the first main international senior event of the season and are held in Varese for the second time. Thirty five nations are attending with many teams racing in the line-ups they expect to send to the Tokyo Olympics in July. (EE)