COVID-19 Another 1,380 coronavirus infection cases were reported in Romania on Thursday, taking the total number up to 99,684, according to the Strategic Communication Group. Since the start of the pandemic, 41,002 patients have recovered. Also, 47 deaths have been reported, which takes the toll so far to 4,065. 459 patients are currently in intensive care. The Romanian health minister, Nelu Tătaru, announced on Thursday that he would propose a new 30-day extension of the state of alert, which was due to end on September 16. He added he had ordered the managers of COVID-19 support hospitals to review the situation and prepare a scenario for non-COVID patients. This can be done by either treating SARS-CoV-2 patients in separate buildings, or by transferring them to other hospitals, if possible, Nelu Tătaru explained.
SCHOOLS Today is the deadline for the authorities to decide and announce how classes are to be held in each school in Romania in the new academic year. School boards will present relevant scenarios to local emergency committees, public health directorates and school inspectorates. According to the National Public Health Inspectorate, over 2,700 localities have so far reported relatively low coronavirus infection figures—under 1 case in 1,000 people, meaning that they are in the so-called “green zone” where all students may attend face-to-face classes. The “yellow zone” comprises around 400 towns and villages, where pre-schoolers, elementary school and senior students are supposed to attend face-to-face classes and the others are included in blended, online and face-to-face programmes. Finally, over 40 localities are in the “red zone,” with students exclusively attending online classes. Bucharest is in the yellow zone. In a press conference held last night, president Klaus Iohannis once again encouraged parents to send their children to school. He explained that if hygiene rules are observed, the problems can be overcome.
GUIDE The Romanian foreign minister Bogdan Aurescu announced, on the last day of the Annual Meeting of Romanian Diplomats, that a crisis response and management guide has been completed. The document will be sent to all Romanian diplomatic offices. “This guide showcases what we have learnt these past months, with the substantial consular activity conducted in safeguarding the rights and interests of Romanian citizens,” Aurescu said. He emphasised that 12,500 Romanian citizens were repatriated since the start of the pandemic until July, when flights were resumed to most European countries. The foreign ministry also helped in the repatriation of over 1,100 foreign nationals, through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
INFLATION In Romania, the year-on-year inflation rate dropped from 2.8% in July to 2.7% in August, although the prices of foods, non-foods and services went up, according to data released on Thursday by the National Statistics Institute. The annual inflation rates forecast for the end of this year and for 2021 are 2.7% and 2.5% respectively, according to the Inflation Report made public by the National Bank. According to Eurostat data, in July Romania had one of the highest inflation rates in the EU, alongside Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic.
BREXIT An emergency meeting takes place in London today between the EU and the UK regarding Britain’s bill overriding some provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement, especially related to Northern Ireland. On Wednesday the British government made public this bill which proposes changes to the Brexit deal, which further complicates the already difficult negotiations between the EU and Britain. The Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, said there would be no trade agreement between the UK and the USA if London jeopardises the Northern Ireland peace process. In order to protect free movement of goods in Ireland, the Brexit agreement stipulates that Northern Ireland will comply with elements of the EU customs code.
TENNIS The Romanian tennis player Patricia Ţig today takes on Japan’s Misaki Doi, seeded 8th, in the eighth-finals of the WTA tournament in Istanbul. In the doubles, Romanian Andreea Mitu and Belarusian Lidia Morozova, winners of the Prague tournament this weekend, were defeated by top seeds Alexa Guarachi (Chile) / Desirae Krawczyk (USA).
(translated by: A.M. Popescu)