COVID-19 The government of Romania decided to extend the state of alert across the country by another 30 days beginning on 13 of May, and scrapped the ban on attending religious events outside citizens’ residence town or villages, the chief of the Directorate for Emergency Situations Raed Arafat announced. Cinema and theatre halls will reopen at 50% of their capacity in pilot events, allowing only people who have recovered from SARS-CoV-2 or who have tested negative for the virus. Sports events will also be attended by people who have received the vaccine. 620 new infections with the SARS-CoV-2 were reported on Monday in Romania for the past 24 hours out of more than 10,700 tests carried out across the country, says the Strategic Communication Group. Another 68 people have died, bringing the death toll to 29,034. 1,066,731 infections have been confirmed in Romania since the beginning of the pandemic and 1,015,092 patients have recovered. 962 patients are presently in intensive care. The regions with the highest infection rates in the past 14 days have been the capital city Bucharest and Cluj in western Romania. These two regions are the only ones still in the so-called yellow zone in terms of infections. Romania's vaccine rollout continues with a series of vaccination marathons, including an 8-day campaign in Craiova, in the south. Over 3.6 million people have so far got the booster dose.
SUMMIT The president of Romania Klaus Iohannis said on Monday that the security situation at the Black Sea was disquieting, which is why NATO must continue to strengthen its deterrence and defence posture, especially in the eastern flank, in a unitary and coherent manner. “This is why we pleaded, including in my discussion with the US president Joe Biden, for enhanced presence of the Allied military forces, US forces included, in Romania and in NATO’s eastern flank,” Klaus Iohannis said at the end of the Bucharest Format Summit B9, in his joint statement together with his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda. Attending online the summit hosted by the president of Romania Klaus Iohannis, together with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda, were the US president Joe Biden, the NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg and the other heads of government in the Bucharest Format—Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary.
VISIT The president of Romania Klaus Iohannis said on Monday that he discussed with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda the strengthening and broadening of the bilateral strategic partnership. The Polish president is on an official visit to Romania. On Tuesday the 2 officials will attend 'Justice Sword 21', a military exercise held at the Smârdan Base (eastern Romania), in which Polish troops and equipment deployed to Romania are also taking part.
PLAN Romanian Prime Minister Florin Citu is this week going to Brussels to present the development projects included in the latest version of the country's Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP). Upon the latest talks with the European Commission representatives, authorities in Bucharest say that none of the projects included in the plan have been scrapped but the sums allotted have been seriously trimmed. The initial version of the plan had a budget of 42 billion euros, over 12 billion more than it can get from the EU. The RRP presently boasts a 3.7 billion euro budget for education as well as for other projects, such as the A7 motorway section linking the cities of Ploiesti to Buzau in the country's south-east.
PANDEMIC About 159 million people have got infected with the novel coronavirus since the onset of the pandemic the world over and more than 3.3 million have died, according to the latest updates on worldometers.info. Europe announces new relaxation measures as infection numbers are dropping. After more than six months of severe restrictions, Italy gives up the quarantine imposed on foreign tourists, while Germany eases restrictions for the people who got both vaccine doses. Some restrictions are also lifted in Spain, although only 12% of its population has been vaccinated. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Monday confirmed relaxed measures in Britain where more than two thirds of the adults have got the first jab. The number of infections in India has dropped below 400 thousand a day and the number of deaths has also started to decrease after two days to around 4 thousand. (tr. A.M. Popescu, bill)