A roundup of domestic and international news.
CORONAVIRUS – 1,311 new infections with SARS CoV-2 were reported in Romania on Saturday by the Group for Strategic Communication, bringing the total to over 102 thousand cases at national level. Another 27 people died on Saturday, taking the total death toll to 4,127. 467 patients are in intensive care. 10,836 people are in home isolation, 5,733 in institutional isolation. 36,970 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.
SCHOOL YEAR – A new school year, adjusted to the coronavirus crisis, begins in Romania on Monday. Children will attend classes physically, in over 70% of schools, while in the case of 28% of the schools, a hybrid scenario will be applied, that mixes the children’s physical presence with online classes. In one of ten schools classes will only be held online. 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 hold their lessons online where required.
MESSAGE – The Romanian Writers’ Union on Saturday conveyed a message of solidarity with the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2015, Svetlana Aleksievich, an opponent of the Belarusian regime. ”The great prestige of this writer, doubled by the force of her civic message, as member of the opposition coordination council, make Svetlana Aleksievich, now, when she is harassed every day and threatened with detention, into an emblem of the free spirit,” the Writers’ Union message says. On Wednesday, Romanian Ambassador in Minsk, Viorel Mosanu, alongside colleagues from other EU states, paid a visit to the writer to make sure that human rights are respected.
CAMPAIGN - The campaign for the local election due on September 27 continues in Romania with the observance of measures aimed at preventing the pandemic from spreading. According to the Interior Ministry, face masks are compulsory, while all people attending election events and meetings will undergo triage and will have to sanitize their hands. Access rules and individual health safety measures will be publicly displayed. Participants will also have to observe the minimum 1-meter distance. A maximum of 50 people are admitted for indoor activities for a maximum duration of 2 hours. In the case of outdoor events, the participation is limited to a hundred people. Candidates are vying for one of the 41 positions of presidents of county councils, 3.200 mayor seats, 1.300 county councilmen and 40.000 local councilmen. Originally slated for June, the local election was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, while the mandates of local officials were extended by another six months.
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.
HANDBALL - The Romanian women's side SCM Râmnicu Vâlcea is today playing the French side Brest Bretagne away, in their first match in Champions League Group B. The group also includes Borussia Dortmund from Germany, Gyori Audi from Hungary, Odense from Denmark, CSKA Moscow from Russia, Podravka Vegeta from Croatia and Buducnost Podgorica from Montenegro. Group A matches will be kicking off on Sunday, when CSM Bucharest will be playing the French side Metz at home. Group A also includes Esbjerg from Denmark, Ljubljana from Slovenia, Ferencvaros from Hungary, Kristiansand from Norway, Bietigheim from Germany and Rostov on Don from Russia. (EE)