A roundup of domestic and international news.
EXPLOSION - Lebanese authorities have not informed so far Romania’s Embassy in Beirut as regards the existence of Romanian citizens among the people affected by Tuesday’s explosion. Also, no requests for assistance have been received by the Romanian diplomatic mission in Lebanon. The building hosting Romania’s Embassy in Beirut has suffered minor damages and its entire staff is out of danger. The Lebanese Government has declared a state of emergency for two weeks in capital Beirut and decided to place under house arrest all those responsible for the explosion that killed more than 137 people, injured over 5,000 and caused huge material damage. The EU, Russia, Turkey and the countries in the Persian Gulf have sent humanitarian aid and specialized search and rescue teams. High-ranking officials from the Security Service in Lebanon said the blast was caused by the detonation of some 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored for six years at a port warehouse, in unsafe conditions. The blast has destroyed the port area almost completely, and the entire city is in chaos.
HIROSHIMA – Thursday marks 75 years since the dropping of the world's first atomic bomb in Hiroshima. On August 6, 1945, a US bomber dropped the uranium bomb above the city, killing around 140,000 people. Three days later on August 9, a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, killing thousands more and forcing Japan to surrender during the Second World War. It was the last nuclear bomb used in armed conflict. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in a video message paid tribute to the victims and called on all nations to renew efforts to abolish such weapons. “Seventy-five years ago, a single nuclear weapon visited unspeakable death and destruction upon this city. The effects linger to this day”, he said in his message.
CORONAVIRUS - Coronavirus infections hit 56,550 in Romania since the start of the pandemic five months ago. Over 28,500 people have recovered and 2,521 have died. 464 people are in intensive care. The authorities have again called on the population to observe the prevention measures in place. Countries like Cyprus, Finland and Lithuania have imposed new restrictions on arrivals from Romania over the surge in the number of cases in this country. Italy, the UK, Ireland, Norway, Estonia and Latvia have ordered travelers from Romania to self-isolate for 14 days. Switzerland too has announced new conditions for Romanians, as of August 8th.
PANDEMIC - The total number of Covid-19 cases worldwide has reached at least 18.9 million, and the number of deaths is over 711,000. Figures are also on the rise as regards the number of patients having recovered since the start of the pandemic—around 12 million. World Health Organisation officials on Wednesday urged the young people to change their behavior and observe the safety measures so as to prevent the further spread of the virus, in the context of an increasing number of infections among the young people. Young people going to nightclubs and beaches has led to a rise in new coronavirus cases across the globe, the World Health Organization has said.The proportion of those aged 15 to 24 who are infected has tripled from 4.5% to 15% in about five months, according to the WHO. Apart from the United States, which leads a global tally with 4.8 million total cases, European countries including Spain, Germany and France and Asian countries such as Japan have said many of the newly infected are young people.
EDUCATION - In Romania the new pre-university school year will start as usual, on September 14. Courses will be organized based on three scenarios that will be constantly updated, depending on the number of infections with Covid-19 in each locality. The decision to close down schools partially or totally will be taken by the local authorities, with most pupils likely to be physically present in classrooms. Education Minister, Monica Anisie, said in turn that pupils would have to wear protective masks. (Translated by Elena Enache)