Phase two of mass vaccination campaign under way in Romania./ Restrictions tighten in Europe as cases spike.
Vaccination. Romanian prime minister Florin Cîţu on Saturday received the Covid vaccine at the central
Military Hospital in Bucharest. On Friday, Romania entered phase two of
its mass vaccination programme, targeting people over the age of 65, chronic
patients and workers in key sectors. According to official figures, more than
196,000 people were immunised in phase one, which began on 27th
authorities said 309 vaccination centres are in operation at the moment. President
Klaus Iohannis also received the vaccine, on Friday. He said afterwards that
the vaccine is safe and efficient, and immunisation and compliance with the
protection rules will help us overcome the pandemic. More than 3,200 new
infection cases and 66 new deaths were recorded in Romania ion Saturday. 1,089 Covid patients are in intensive care. Romania saw more than 691,000
cases and 17,160 related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
Government order. The government adopted an emergency order on Friday on
the establishment of vaccination centres and the recruitment and payment of the
staff involved in the vaccination process. Health minister Vlad Voiculescu said
his ministry would cover the cost of the vaccination campaign and that he
relied on GPs to inform their patients about the vaccine and make the
appointments. He said GPs would receive additional pay for this service. He
also gave assurances that schools will be safe to return to if they reopen on 8th
February. He pointed out that education workers can get the vaccine during
phase two of the vaccine rollout.
Europe restrictions. Europe vaccine.
Global coronavirus cases hit 94.4 million, while the death toll passes 2
million. More than 67 million have recovered. Despite a slowdown of Pfizer and
BioNTech vaccine deliveries by in late January and early February, Pfizer gave
assurances that the doses expected by the European Union in the first quarter
of the year will be supplied as scheduled, said European Commission president
Ursula von der Leyen after health ministers from six EU countries signed a
joint letter voicing deep concern over the announced delays. Meanwhile, tighter
restrictions are being imposed in Europe following a spike in cases. Austria remains in lockdown,
but is reopening schools on 25th January. Italy has extended its
state of emergency until April and has again banned travel between regions.
France has imposed a 6 pm curfew and Portugal entered a new lockdown for at
least another month, while Spanish regions are tightening measures, including
in the Madrid area.
Oscars. The American film academy
has decided to expand the number of films on its international feature
shortlist to 15, according to Variety magazine, from 10 in previous year.
Alexander Nanau's documentary film Collective
is Romania's proposal for this year's Oscars in the international category. In December,
the film was voted best documentary at the European Film Awards, which has over
3,800 members from around Europe. Collective
looks at the aftermath of a tragic fire that broke out at a Bucharest nightclub
in October 2015 and which 64 people were killed.
Handball. Romanian vice-champions in
women's handball CSM Bucharest on Saturday lost to the Norwegian side Vipers Kristiansand at home 22:29 as part of
Champions League Group A. The Norwegian side also won the first leg last
October. Together with the European champions Gyor from Hungary, Vipers are the
only side not to lose a single match in the Champions League group stage. (CM)