COVID-19 1,391 new infections with SARS CoV-2 have been reported in Romania in the last 24 hours, the Group for Strategic Communication has said, bringing the total up to 101,075 cases at national level. Another 35 people have died, taking the total death toll to 4,100. 478 patients are in intensive care. 7,125 people infected with COVID-19 are currently receiving treatment in hospitals. 10,772 are in home isolation, 5,754 in institutional isolation. 33,129 people are quarantined at home while 12 are in institutional quarantine. Of the Romanians living abroad, 6,599 have tested positive so far, and 126 died.
PANDEMIC Over 28 million infections with SARS CoV-2and 914,000 deaths have been reported worldwide since the start of the pandemic. The United States continues to be the most affected country, with nearly 6.6 million infections and some 196,000 deaths. India is the second-most affected country in terms of the total numbers of infections, some 4.5 million, and 76,000 deaths. The resurge in the number of infections has forced many European states to consider new restrictions to contain the pandemic. France, Belgium, Italy and Great Britain are hit by a second wave, although less serious than that of March and April. In Croatia, Greece and Malta on the other hand, the increase in the number of cases is higher than in the first wave. As a result, the annual meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), presented as 'the largest’ European conference on human rights, has been cancelled. A disquieting situation is also reported in Israel.
SCHOOLS The Government has earmarked an additional €20 million to the budget of the Education Ministry to fund the "Safe Education" National Programme. The money will be used for the purchase of laptops, medical equipment and electronic devices, such as webcams and tablets, so that teachers can conduct their lessons online where required. A new school year is starting in Romania on Monday.
INNOVATION The city of Cluj-Napoca (in north-western Romania) is among the EU’s 6 most innovating cities, alongside Vienna, Valencia, Espoo (Finland), Helsingborg (Sweden) and Leuven (Belgium). The announcement was made by the European Commission on Friday, following a competition run in several stages with hundreds of participating localities. The Commission will announce the 2020 European Capital of Innovation on September 24, in an online ceremony. The winning city will receive one million euros.
DIPLOMACY The Romanian foreign minister Bogdan Aurescu had a telephone talk on Friday with his Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau, on topics of mutual interest, with an emphasis on the situation in Belarus. The 2 diplomats reiterated their 'firm support for the democratization of the country and for the civil society in Belarus'. In this context, minister Aurescu resumed his call for the authorities in Minsk to end the pressure on the opposition and civil society or the mass media. The talks also tackled the developments in the Three Seas Initiative, given the extensive cooperation between Romania and Poland in this respect.
9/11 Friday marked 19 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11 in the United States, considered the bloodiest in world history. Some 3,000 people, including Romanians, were killed by 19 Al Qaeda terrorists who hijacked 4 passenger airliners, crashing them into key buildings in the US. The death toll continued to rise after the attacks, many people dying due to exposure to dust from the site. (translated by: A.M. Popescu, V. Palcu)