COVID-19 Romania Thursday reported 10,108 new Covid-19 cases, taking the total number of cases so far up to 394,000. Nearly 70% of them have so far recovered. The most cases were reported in Bucharest and the counties of Constanţa (south-east) and Cluj (north-west). Another 167 coronavirus-related deaths were also reported, and the number of patients in intensive care is 1,131. The pandemic has put the spotlight on the long-standing structural flaws of Romania’s healthcare system, president Klaus Iohannis said. On Wednesday he met with officials and experts involved in the management of medical equipment, who presented reports on the infrastructure and failures in the national healthcare sector.
DIPLOMACY The Romanian foreign minister Bogdan Aurescu takes part today in an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers held online. According to the Foreign Ministry, Bogdan Aurescu will voice support for strengthening the EU-USA partnership, emphasising that only by consolidating trans-Atlantic ties can current and future global challenges be managed properly. The Romanian official will also emphasise that efficient multilateralism relies on compliance with international law and democratic values, and on the cooperation between countries that share the same views. Aurescu will also present an assessment of the presidential election in the Republic of Moldova, with a focus on the victory of the pro-European candidate Maia Sandu and its implications for the relation between the EU and Chisinau.
EU BUDGET The European Parliament announced it would make no concession as regards the rule of law, on which the allocation of EU funding will depend as of next year. This is a response to proposals from some member states regarding a compromise with Hungary and Poland, which are disgruntled with the new conditions. On Monday they vetoed the endorsement of the Union’s multiannual budget and the economic recovery plan post-COVID-19. Poland’s PM Mateusz Morawiecki explained that his country’s position on making funds conditional on compliance with the rule of law is designed to avoid arbitrary measures. In turn, the Hungarian PM Viktor Orban spoke about Brussels’ blackmailing the countries that oppose immigration. The EU budget for the forthcoming 7 years and the economic recovery plan are discussed today by the EU heads of state and government. The combined financial effort amounts to over 1,800 billion euro.
PANDEMIC The total number of COVID-19 cases worldwide is over 56.6 million, and the death toll exceeds 1.3 million, according to worldometers.info updates. The US reports over one-fifth of the total number of deaths (over 250,000). As the healthcare community focuses on producing a vaccine, the final assessments run by the US company Pfizer and the German company BioNTech point to a 95% protection rate. The head of the World Health Organisation Emergencies Programme, Mike Ryan, warned however that the vaccine will not be available in time to fight for the second wave of the pandemic. Meanwhile, UNICEF Thursday called for averting a lost generation as COVID-19 threatens to cause irreversible harm to children’s education, nutrition and well-being.
SPORTS Romania’s national football team last night drew 1-all with Northern Ireland in Belfast, in the last match in the UEFA Nations League. Romania came out 3rd in Group B, meeting its goal of being allocated in Pot 2 of the 2022 World Cup qualifying draw. Romania’s U-21 team managed to qualify for the 2nd consecutive time in the final tournament of the relevant European Championship. In women’s handball, CSM Bucharest take on Russian side Rostov on Don at home tonight, in the Champions League Group A. CSM and Rostov currently top the group rankings. (translated by: A.M. Popescu)