COVID-19 The total number of COVID-19 cases in Romania since the start of the pandemic 5 months ago is now over 55,000, and the authorities announced 1,232 new cases in the last 24 hours. The death toll stands at 2,480, with a record-high number of deaths reported on Tuesday—48. More than 7,771 people are hospitalised, 436 of them in intensive care. Of the Romanians living abroad, 5,571 have tested positive for COVID-19, most of them in Germany and Italy, but the number of deaths stays at 123. The health minister Nelu Tătaru warns that Romania is at a stage of extensive community spread of the novel coronavirus, and says that unless protection rules are observed, intensive care units will be overwhelmed, and what happened in Italy and Spain in March and April may well happen in Romania now. Nelu Tătaru added that public healthcare directorates, which are at the frontline of epidemiological triage, have enough staff after the posting of school doctors and nurses.
PANDEMIC Meanwhile, the total number of Covid-19 cases worldwide has reached 18.5 million, and the number of deaths is over 697,000, according to ''Johns Hopkins'' University. Figures are also on the rise as regards the number of patients having recovered since the start of the pandemic—nearly 11.7 million. At present Latin America and the Caribbean are reporting more than 5 million cases and 200,000 deaths. Columbia now comes before the UK to 10th place in the world in terms of the number of infections. The US, Brazil, India, Russia and South Africa are the hardest hit countries. In Europe, Spain and France are introducing compulsory face covering outdoors as well, in a move to avoid complete lockdown. Tourists traveling to Greece have to wear protection masks both inside, and on the decks of the ferries taking them to the islands. World Health Organisation officials warn that a miraculous solution for the novel coronavirus may never be found, although research for a vaccine is beginning to yield results.
CORRUPTION The former head of the National Water Management Agency Victor Sandu has been taken into custody by the National Anti-Corruption Directorate for bribe-taking. He is probed into for reportedly receiving one million euros in bribes for earmarking the funds required for the provision of services by a specific private company. A businessman is also being detained in the same investigation, under charges of bribe-giving, while the managers of 2 private companies are under court supervision. Specifically, the former agency director received the money for a number of river management contracts in Bihor County. Two companies controlled by an associate of Victor Sandu issued invoices for goods and services that were never actually provided. Prosecutors are today requesting the Bacau County Court to approve a 30-day pre-trial arrest warrant against Victor Sandu and the businessman.
TRAINING Until August 7, around 200 navy troops from Romania, Bulgaria and the US are training as part of the 11th Eurasian Partnership Mine Countermeasure Dive 2020, hosted by the Romanian Navy. The main focus of the exercise is on countering underwater threats, by means of mine search and destruction scenarios. Eurasian Partnership Mine Countermeasure Dive 2020 is the only annual multinational exercise organized in the Black Sea Waters in order to consolidate the training of NATO military divers.
FOOTBALL CFR Cluj won their 3rd consecutive national football championship, after defeating Universitatea Craiova away from home on Monday night, 3-1, in a decisive match for the League I trophy. CFR are now 6 times champions, whereas Universitatea Craiova missed the chance of winning the title after a 29 year wait. Still, this is the best run for Craiova since their comeback to Romania’s top football league.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)