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August 9-13, 2021
The number of COVID infections slightly on the rise
Starting on Friday, August 13, only digital certificates with a QR code will be recognized as proof of immunity when crossing borders into EU states that require proof of vaccination, negative tests, or having had the disease. Crossing borders is also permitted without such a certificate, with a requirement for quarantine. According to the National Association of Tourism Agencies, for countries with no requirement for a certificate, such as Bulgaria, or for return from countries on Romania's green list, a digital certificate is not compulsory. At the same time, after the last update of epidemic risk, Bucharest has put back on the red list Turkey, Israel, and the US, joining Spain, Greece, and the UK. At the same time, Holland and Malta, which were on the red list, were moved to the yellow list. In Romania, which is in the green scenario, the number of Sars-CoV-2 infections is slightly on the rise, but a sustained rise. As the new Delta variant is spreading, medical authorities are worried that the risk of hospitalization or of serious symptoms is great. As a result, the coordinator of the national vaccination campaign, Valeriu Gheorghita, launched on Radio Romania an appeal to comply with prevention measures, and recommended vaccination. Cumulatively, as a result of having had the disease or of vaccination, collective immunity would be around 50%. About 5 million Romanians have so far been fully vaccinated.
Warning from the RNB
In Romania, the annual rate of inflation has reached 5%, according to data published on Wednesday by the National Institute of Statistics, confirming Monday's declaration by bank governor Mugur Isarescu. Food prices went up 2%, other merchandise went up in price by almost 8%, and service prices by almost 3%. The highest rise in prices is for electricity, almost 25%, for natural gas, over 20%, and fuel, 13%. For the end of this year, the National Bank expects inflation to reach 5.6%, as compared to 4.1%, as previously expected. Isarescu pointed out that we are not alone in this, because we cannot uncouple from the world, and that the scenario is not apocalyptic. He also mentioned that half the inflation rate is because of prices that the National Bank has no control over. Liberal PM Florin Citu said that the situation should not be worrying, and that this hike in prices is temporary, as incomes are on a permanent rise. The Social Democratic opposition contradicted him, saying that even in the context of the 'savage liberalization' of the energy market, which led to 'explosive rises' in electricity and natural gas prices, the situation of vulnerable consumers, such as pensioners, low salary workers, or large families, has worsened. For this reason, the party calls for an emergency law to support them. According to the NIS, the net average wages in Romania stand at around 3,500 lei (about 700 Euro).
Romania stands by Greece.
Greece has been affected by devastating fires that wiped out 100,000 ha, especially on the island of Evia, but also on the continent, around Athens, and in the Peloponnese, forcing tens of thousands to relocate. The country has been receiving help from around the world, including from Romania. Since Romanian firefighters have arrived in Greece, especially Evia, the Internet has been flooded with videos showcasing their speed of reaction, organization, and attention to detail. Over 100 of them, along with 20 vehicles, answered the call from Athens, responding through the European mechanism for civil protection. At the same time, Romania sent aid to Northern Macedonia, confronted with large scale vegetation fires, sending in two military aircraft with 15 soldiers on board. In Turkey, strong fires are now under control, but in Algeria they are still raging. In Bucharest, President Klaus Iohannis promised to get involved actively in processes aimed at the climate crisis, after the alarm signal sent on Monday by the UN report on human caused climate change.
The end of the OG
Last Sunday, as the Tokyo OG came to and end, Romania was disappointed to occupy the 46th place in the tally of nations, which was topped by the US, China, and Japan. Romanian athletes managed to get only four medals, one gold, in women's rowing, and three silver, in women's fencing, and men's rowing. The only minor consolation is that Romania ranked in Tokyo better than it did in Rio, in 2016. Let us recall that in 1984, in the Los Angeles OG, Romania ranked second in the world. The hope now lies in the Tokyo paralympic games, held between August 24 and September 5. Among those athletes that compete in cycling is incumbent minister of sports and youth, Eduard Novak.
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