Covid-19 Romania – The Strategic Communication Group announced on Saturday a new record of COVID-19 cases reported in one single day since the onset of the pandemic in late February. 3,517 people have tested positive in 24 hours following the testing of 29,284 people. 59 new deaths have been reported which takes the total death toll to 5,358. So far 152,403 cases of contamination have been reported since the start of the pandemic and almost 117 thousand people have recovered. 629 patients are currently in ICUs. President Klaus Iohannis said he did not want to return to a state of emergency and that restrictive measures should be imposed if there is no other solution left.
Washington – Romania will benefit from American technology and expertise for the construction of nuclear reactors 3 and 4 at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant in southeastern Romania and for the retechnologization of reactor 1. The Romanian Minister of Economy, Energy and Business Development Virgil Popescu and the U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette initialed, in Washington, a draft inter-governmental agreement for cooperation on expanding and modernizing Romania’s civil nuclear power program. The Romanian authorities have cancelled the previous understandings with China and will implement the project as part of a Euro-Atlantic consortium representing NATO countries with financial support from the partners involved. According to Minister Virgil Popescu, cooperation with the US is to ensure, in 10 years’ time, Romania’s energy independence and an energy surplus for export.
Cooperation – The technical and military cooperation programs developed in partnership with the US represented one of the topics tackled by the Romanian Defense Minister Nicolae Ciuca during the meeting he had, on Friday, in Washington, with the director of Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Heidi Grant, as well as with representatives of America defense industry companies. According to a Romanian defense ministry communiqué, the Romanian official underlined the importance of bilateral cooperation in the defense field and highlighted Romania’s potential in key domains such as cybernetics and IT for developing new military equipment. Minister Ciuca also reiterated Bucharest’s commitment to allot 2% of the GDP for defense and for implementing robust military capabilities able to respond to the national security requirements, in line with the NATO standards.
Pilgrimage – Hundreds of people protested on Friday in the eastern city of Iasi against the restrictions imposed to the annual Orthodox pilgrimage at the holy relics of Saint Parascheva, who is celebrated on October 14. The central authorities have recently announced that only the locals were allowed access to the pilgrimage in an attempt to limit the spread of the new coronavirus. The Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church considered the measures disproportionate and discriminatory.
Marathon – The marathon race of the professional runners, part of the Bucharest International Marathon, initially scheduled for Sunday, has been cancelled upon the authorities’ request because of the latest developments in the health crisis generated by the new coronavirus outbreak. The number of COVID-19 cases in Bucharest is 2.28 per one thousand inhabitants. 250 professional runners were supposed to start the marathon race in downtown Bucharest in a bid to qualify to the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The decision to cancel the Bucharest International Marathon will not affect the runners registered for virtual races, who will participate in the race, individually, on a route and in a period of time of their choice, between October 11 and 18.
Mental health – The new coronavirus pandemic has produced many changes in people’s lives from a medical, social and economic point of view, and in such a period with so any challenges, people need to be balanced and keep their mental health intact, says the health minister Nelu Tataru on the occasion of the World Mental Health Day. In turn, the Romanian League for mental health says the people who suffer from mental issues have a different behavior in such difficult times. Established in 1992, the World Mental Health Day is marked each year on October 10. (tr. L. Simion)