September 17, 2020 UPDATE

september 17, 2020 update A roundup of domestic and international news

Covid-19 1,679 new cases of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 were reported in Romania, following tests performed at national level, the Strategic Communication Group announced on Thursday. The total number of infections has thus reached 108,690. Another 27 coronavirus-related deaths were also reported, taking the death toll so far to 4,312. 460 patients are in intensive care, the Group has also reported. In Romania, 11,540 people confirmed with the new coronavirus are in isolation at home, and 5,807 are in institutional isolation. Also, 38,167 people are in quarantine at home, and 7 in institutionalized quarantine. Of the Romanians living abroad, 6,599 have so far tested positive for COVID-19, and the number of deaths stays at 126.


Pandemic 30 million infections and 945,000 deaths have been reported worldwide, according to The United States is the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 6,800,000 infections and more than 200,000 deaths. In the United Kingdom, the European country with the highest number of deaths, over 41,000, the health system can no longer cope with the demand for tests, and the government has announced that it will rationalize them for the time being. Spain has exceeded 600,000 cases and 30,000 deaths. As of Friday, Israel becomes the first country in the world to apply the lockdown measure for the second time, due to the very large number of new cases of COVID-19.


Elections. In Romania, the electoral campaign for the local elections due on September 27 continues, in conditions meant to prevent infections with the new coronavirus. According to the Ministry of Interior, wearing a protective mask is mandatory, and for all persons participating in electoral events or meetings, observational triage and mandatory hand disinfection will be performed. The rules of access and personal protection will be displayed in visible places. A physical distance of at least one meter between participants will be ensured, including for actions carried out on the street or from door to door. A maximum of 50 people will attend the events and meetings held indoors, and the duration will be limited to a maximum of two hours. In the case of events and meetings held outdoors, the organizers must ensure that the number of participants is limited to a maximum of one hundred. 41 county council presidents, about 3,200 mayors, over 1,300 county councillors and 40,000 local councillors will be elected. Election had been scheduled for June, but was postponed due to the pandemic, and local elected officials have extended their terms by half a year.


Constructions Construction works in Romania saw a 12.2% increase in July 2020 compared to July 2019, which is the biggest increase for this industry in the EU, the European Statistics Office (Eurostat) announced on Thursday. July is the 3rd consecutive month with Romania as an EU leader in terms of the growth of the constructions industry. In the Eurozone, this sector reported a 3.8% year-on-year decline this July, whereas in the EU the drop rate was 3.9%. According to Eurostat, the only EU member states where the constructions industry grew in July were Romania and Finland (2.5%), with the most dramatic falls reported in Hungary (-21%), Slovakia (-15.4%) and Poland (-11%).


Missiles The first Patriot missile air defence system was received today by the Romanian Army, in a ceremony held in Capul Midia (south-east), in the presence of PM Ludovic Orban, the defence minister Nicolae Ciucă, and officials of the American producer. The main components of the Patriot system arrived in Romania last month. Two years ago, Romania signed an agreement on the purchase of 7 Patriot batteries for 3.9 billion USD, from 2 American companies. Four of them will be used by the Romanian Air Forces, and the other 3 by the Land Forces.


Natural gas With the start of works on the submarine pipeline of the Midia Natural Gas Development Project (MGD), Romania has taken a major step in making sure it will probably be the first country to extract natural gas from the Black Sea, the minister of economy, energy and business environment Virgil Popescu said on Thursday. He attended the official start of works on the pipeline, an event in which PM Ludovic Orban and the US Ambassador Adrian Zuckerman also took part. Popescu pointed out that for the Romanian Government, developing the Black Sea natural gas has been and will remain a priority. “Today we see an important step taken in this project, an American investment of over 500 million euros,” he added. MGD is the first project tapping Romania’s offshore gas reserves in the Black Sea to be launched since 1989. In a first stage, it will be able to cover 10% of Romania’s gas needs. 

Tennis The Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, number 2 in the world, plays on Friday against Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine (29 WTA) in the 8th-finals of the WTA tournament in Rome. Another Romanian, Irina Begu (77 WTA) was kicked out of the competition on Thursday by Britain's Johanna Konta (13 WTA). Also on Thursday, in the doubles, Romanians Simona Halep and Monica Niculescu lost the 8th-finals to the Japanese Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara. Raluca Olaru (Romania) and Anna-Lena Friedsam (Germany), are playing on Friday against Magda Linette (Poland) andBernarda Pera (USA), in the quarter-finals of the Premier 5 tournament in Rome. (translated by: A.M. Popescu, M. Ignatescu)
Publicat: 2020-09-17 20:00:00
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