Covid-19 Ro – School will be suspended in Bucharest as of Tuesday due to the increasing number of new coronavirus contamination cases. Courses will be held online for two weeks. At the same time, the authorities announced the obligation to wear face masks in all public spaces. Cinema and theater halls have been closed. Activity has also been banned inside restaurants, except for catering to the people accommodated in units that also provide meals. Gambling activities have also been forbidden. President Klaus Iohannis underscored that a national effort was needed to stop the COVID-19 epidemic. He showed that pressure on hospitals, especially on intensive care units, reached alarming levels, and that could not go on. President Iohannis also said that decisive action had to be taken now, to reduce the burden on the medical system. On Monday 2,466 new COVID-19 cases were reported in 24 hours following the testing of 8 thousand people. 757 patients are in intensive care and 59 people have died from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. So far 5,931 people diagnosed with COVID-19 have died.
COVID-19 world - Globally, the number of coronavirus cases has passed 40.2 million, with the number of deaths nearing 1.2 million. The US, India and Brazil are still the worst hit countries, while almost half of all cases are in North, Central and South America. Infections are also rising in Europe, with 150,000 new cases being reported on average each day. Record daily figures have been recorded in Italy, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Poland, Ukraine, Cyprus and the Czech Republic. Parts of the UK are in lockdown and new restrictions have been imposed in France and Italy. A World Health Organization official was quoted by Reuters as saying that global fatalities caused by Covid-19 may reach 2 million before an effective vaccine is distributed.
Forum – The Romanian President Klaus Iohannis attended on Monday the Three Seas Virtual Summit and Web Forum organized by Estonia in videoconference format. President Iohannis explained in a press conference that the Initiative would contribute in the post-pandemic period to the economic recovery, through the development of connectivity between the states in the region. The Romanian President pointed out that Romania’s main target was to implement the strategic interconnection projects, an important step in this regard being the completion of the first phase of the BRUA natural gas conveyance project and the passage to the implementation of phase 2. Klaus Iohannis equally underlined the special importance from an economic and strategic point of view of the railway project called “Rail 2 See” which will link the ports of Constanta and Gdansk, as well as of the transnational highway network called Via Carpathia.
Visit – The Romanian foreign minister Bogdan Aurescu is having political consultations with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a visit to the US at the invitation of his American counterpart. Held as part of the 140th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Romania and the US, Aurescu's trip is aimed at reconfirming the main elements of the Strategic Partnership and assessing projects of mutual interest. Talks focus on issues such as bilateral cooperation in the political, military, energy and economy areas, including priority strategic interconnection projects promoted by Romania as part of the Three Seas Initiative. Minister Aurescu is also expected to again call for Romania's inclusion in the Visa Waiver program. First scheduled for last April, his visit to the US was postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Ambassadors – 8 persons proposed for the positions of Romania’s ambassadors abroad received, on Monday, a favorable vote from the joint committees for foreign policy and the committees for the Romanian communities abroad, as well as from the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. Proposals were made for Romania’s ambassadors to France, the Czech Republic, Vietnam and Cambodia, Finland, the Netherlands, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, Montenegro and Uruguay. On October 7 the joint committees of the Romanian Parliament interviewed another 8 candidates, all of them having received a favorable vote. Interviews with another 15 persons will continue in the coming period.
UN - The Romanian military who took part in the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali were awarded medals for their service as peacekeepers. According to a statement from the defense ministry, the chief of defense staff, lieutenant-general Daniel Petrescu on Sunday visited the troops from the Carpathian Pumas helicopter unit stationed at Camp Castor in Mali, where Romania has deployed 120 military and four IAR-330L transport helicopters. 57 other countries are also taking part in the UN mission in Mali. (update by L. Simion/C.M.)