Covid-19RO. In Romania, almost 3.7 million doses of vaccine have been administered so far. 1.4 million people have received both jabs. Authorities have announced that 171 new vaccination centers will be opened this week. The president of the National Committee for the coordination of activities regarding the vaccination against SARS-CoV-2, doctor Valeriu Gheorghiţă, has given assurances that, starting this week, approximately 80,000 people will be immunized daily. In turn, Prime Minister Florin Cîţu has stated that the recent evolution of the pandemic, with a slight improvement in terms of new infections reported, but with an accelerated increase in the number of serious cases, requires finding solutions to reach the target of 1,600 places in intensive care. For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, there are over 1,500 infected people in serious condition, and the Intensive Care Units are full. Romania has exceeded one million infections with the new coronavirus and 25 thousand deaths. In the last 24 hours, over 2,300 cases of infection and 113 deaths were reported.
Pandemic. The United Kingdom has lifted many of the restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic, after months of lockdown. Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the moment as an important step towards normalcy, but urged the population to behave responsibly. In Italy, several regions are no longer in the high-risk category. As regards France, the vaccination campaign has been accelerated, as the country struggles to control the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Germany has exceeded the threshold of three million cases of COVID-19, and calls to tighten restrictions are growing. The number of COVID-19 infections is also increasing in Spain, where several regions have exceeded the extreme risk threshold. One of the most affected regions is that of the capital Madrid.
School. As of today, Romanian 8th and 12th graders return to classes in 100% online format, until April 29, when the Easter holiday starts. The current school year has changed due to the negative evolution of the pandemic this spring, so the holiday has been extended for preschoolers and pupils, except for those who will take the national exams. As of next autumn, semesters might be replaced by quarters, and the next school year could be extended to recover what has been lost by teaching online in the past year, but only if the education unions, pupils and parents agree. The relevant minister, Sorin Cîmpeanu, says that all the solutions that will result from these consultations will be considered.
NATO. The Cyber Defense Command of the Romanian Ministry of Defense participates, between April 13-16, in the international cyber defense exercise Locked Shields 2021. Teams from allied and partner states made up of military and civilian professionals take part in the exercise that takes place in online format, planned and organized by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia. The aim of the exercise is to improve the training of cyber security specialists so that, acting in large interdepartmental and multidisciplinary teams, to protect in real time information technology networks and national critical infrastructures against multiple and multidirectional cyber attacks. Locked Shields 2021 takes place in a real-world scenario, using state-of-the-art specific technologies and simulating massive cyber incidents, including strategic decision-making, legal and public communication.
Census. A trial census was carried out in February and March in Romania, in preparation for the Population and Housing Census, initially scheduled for 2021, but postponed for next year. According to the National Institute of Statistics, the trial census, in which 50,000 households from all over the country participated, was aimed at testing the data collection capacity, the functioning of the technical solution for self-census, as well as the organization of the workflow in the review process. The novel elements include the possibility for each person to self-review by simply accessing a link, the elimination of paper questionnaires and the use by reviewers of tablets provided by the Special Telecommunications Service. Starting 2021, the Population and Housing Census will be carried out in all EU Member States in accordance with the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council.
Earnings. The average net salary in Romania decreased to 3,365 lei (about 680 Euros) in February, 0.9% lower than in January - according to data from the National Institute of Statistics published on Monday. In February, in most activities in the economic sector, the level of average net earnings decreased as a result of the granting in the previous months of occasional bonuses (quarterly and annual bonuses, for special performances or the 13th salary), rights in kind and benefits, net profits and amounts from other funds. The highest values of average net salary were recorded in IT services, and the lowest in hotels and restaurants. According to the NIS, compared to February 2020, the average net salary increased by 5.1%.in February 2021. (MI)