April 29, 2021

april 29, 2021 A roundup of domestic and international news

COVID-19 IN ROMANIA - 1.850 new cases of COVID-19 infection were reported on Thursday in Romania after some 35,000 tests, the Group for Strategic Communication announced. Another 138 related fatalities were also reported, while 1,295 people are currently in intensive care. Over 1,050,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic and 27,971 people have died to the virus. The infection rate continues to exceed 3 per thousand inhabitants in the capital city Bucharest and in Ilfov and Cluj counties, although the numbers are dropping steadily. On the other hand, the Government's special committee for relaxing measures starting June 1 convened again to highlight the need for adapting relaxation measures depending on the specificity of each field of activity. Representatives of associations and employers' associations made clear-cut proposals for the organization of cultural events with the observance of health safety regulations. The committee also discussed the gradual reopening of hotels and restaurants as more and more people get vaccinated. All proposals will be analyzed, starting today, by think-tanks that will address each specific field. Meanwhile, the authorities are accelerating the vaccination campaign. New vaccination centers will open this week. Some 84 thousand people got immunized yesterday.

COVID-19 IN THE WORLD - The international community is rallying to support India, a week after this country was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with daily record-high numbers of infections and fatalities and a health system under duress. The biggest concern is the so-called Indian strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which spreads rapidly and could be even more contagious and vaccine- and treatment-resistant than other strains, the WHO has warned. With a population of nearly 1.4 billion people, India has reported 200 thousand deaths and over 18 million infections since the start of the outbreak. Some experts believe numbers could be even higher. Great Britain has been sending oxygen concentrators and other medical equipment, while the United States will be shipping 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Romania has joined this international effort and delivered 200 oxygen concentrators via a Romanian Air Force Spartan aircraft.

HOLIDAY -Before the May 1st mini-holiday, which this year coincides with the Orthodox Easter holiday, Prime Minister Florin Cîţu calls on the population to keep observing anti-coronavirus sanitary rules, even if Romania is now on a descending slope of the third wave of the pandemic. He has urged the prefects and the police to take all measures to ensure compliance with the health rules in place. In the Romanian resorts on the Black Sea, over 30 thousand tourists are expected during the mini-holiday of May 1 and Easter. About 100 hotels will be opened, many of them already occupied at 70% capacity, the maximum allowed by the authorities. Tourists are not allowed to party on the beach, and wearing a mask is mandatory.

PNNR - The leaders of the center-right ruling coalition in Bucharest have adopted the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNNR) worth 29 billion Euro. The plan will be presented in Brussels starting May 10, when the final negotiations with European Commission representatives are due to take place. Prime Minister Florin Cîţu said none of the proposed projects will be discarded. In turn, Minister for Investment and European Projects, Cristian Ghinea, said funding for certain investment has been reduced, while budget appropriations have been readjusted to reflect the Commission's recommendations.

PASSION WEEK - Orthodox and Eastern-Orthodox Christians in Romania today mark Maundy Thursday, the fourth day of Passion Week when they recall the Lord's Supper, the arrest and trial of Jesus.  Passion Week precedes the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and marks a time of humbleness and spiritual cleansing ahead of the biggest celebration in the Christian calendar. Tonight, Orthodox believers will attend a special mass where the 12 Gospels will be read, covering the last moments in the life of Jesus, from the Lord's Supper to his crucifixion. In his last supper, Jesus Christ laid the foundations for the Holy Eucharist, offering Christians the possibility to partake in the Body and Blood of the Lord. On the same day, according to Gospel of John, Jesus withdrew to Gethsemane Garden to pray. Betrayed by Judas, he was arrested and tried by the Sanhedrin and sentenced to death for blasphemy.

UNEMPLOYMENT - The unemployment rate stood at 5.5% in March, down by 0.2% compared to February, a National Statistics Institute report reads. The number of unemployed aged 15-74 stood at 464 thousand in March, compared to 478 thousand the previous month. Broken down in terms of gender, unemployed men account for 5.7%, compared to 5.2% for women. The number of unemployed aged 24-74 account for 75.1% of the estimated number of unemployed in March.

SURVEY - Romanians fear the economic crisis or corruption more than the COVID-19 pandemic or the outbreak of an armed conflict. It's one of the findings of the Security Survey published by the Romanian Academy's Center for Sociological Research. According to the survey, 43% of respondents believe Romania has been a safe country after its NATO accession, while 37% said they felt safe during the communist period. As regards public confidence in state institutions, 72% of Romanians put their trust in the Army, followed by the Church with a 57% share and the Foreign Ministry with 50%.

US - The United States' return to the international stage, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic recovery plan, as well as firm warnings against Russia and China, were some of the highlights of US president Joe Biden's first address to the joint session of Congress. "Now, after just 100 days, I can report to the nation: America is on the move again. Turning peril into possibility. Crisis into opportunity. Setback into strength", the White House leader said. According to Radio Romania's Washington correspondent, Joe Biden also addressed a message to Russian president Vladimir Putin, insisting that Russia's actions will have consequences. (V.P.)

Publicat: 2021-04-29 13:55:00
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