COVID-19 The number of deaths from coronavirus infections reported in Romania exceeds 420, out of a total of 8,400 confirmed cases. Over 1,000 healthcare personnel tested positive for the Covid-19 so far, most of them in Suceava (north-east) and in Bucharest. Around 1,700 people recovered and have been discharged from hospitals.PM Ludovic Orban said that according to estimates the pandemic will peak between May 1st and 5th in Romania, and once again urged citizens not to leave their homes except for emergencies.
MEASURES The Resurrection of Christ is a celebration of hope in a season of rebirth, says the President of Romania in his Easter message, released on Saturday. He emphasises that unfortunately, this year Easter finds us in a situation that forces us to find the blessing and light of Easter within ourselves and our homes. Together, with devotion, love and faith, we will overcome this difficult challenge that mankind is facing, Klaus Iohannis adds. He urges Romanians to embrace the sacrifice of expressing their love to their beloved ones by complying with social distancing rules. Previously, Iohannis had called on citizens to avoid visits on Easter. He emphasised that Romania has not yet seen a peak of this epidemic, and that the only reasonable thing to do now is to stay away from our dear ones. The President also urged authorities to remain on alert. In a video message, PM Ludovic Orban in turn voiced his hope that the Easter symbols of love and sacrifice will give us the strength to be reborn together. Over 36,000 police, gendarme, fire-fighters, border police and other Interior Ministry and Defence Ministry staff are working during Easter to ensure compliance with the military orders, to prevent and curb crime and to step in in case of emergencies.
EASTER The Orthodox majority in Romania, as well as the Greek Catholic Christians Sunday celebrate Easter or the Resurrection of Christ. This year believers will not be able to attend the Easter Mass, because of the measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic, but they will be able to watch the midnight service on the media. The Easter light was brought from Jerusalem in a ceremony held in special conditions, without the thousands of pilgrims that used to attend this service in the past. Patriarch Daniel of the Romanian Orthodox Church wishes all Romanians, on this occasion, health and pace, joy and hope. “Our faith in the Resurrection helps us not to lose hope in the face of adversity, but to ask for Christ’s help with even more fervour”, the Patriarch said in his Easter homily.
AID The Romanian Foreign Ministry welcomed on Saturday the announcement made by the US on April 16 regarding an 800,000 USD support package for Romania in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Foreign Ministry, the decision is further proof of the strength of the bilateral Strategic Partnership, at a time of global crisis. According to the same source, with support from the US Romania received a RT-PCR testing unit provided by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and has used NATO aircraft to bring emergency medical supplies into the country.
FINANCIAL Fitch financial rating agency revised Romania’s rating outlook from stable to negative, against the background of the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on public finances in the coming period, the Ministry for Public Finances announced. The agency said the revision was necessary, given the poor fiscal management in previous years. The Finance Minister Florin Cîţu said in the forthcoming period the ministry will focus on implementing tax and budget measures aimed at mitigating the negative effects of the pandemic and on measures to revitalise the Romanian economy. The main elements able to help improve the country rating are stabilising the share of public debt in the GDP in the medium run, and sustainable improvement of the foreign debt level.
PANDEMIC The official number of novel coronavirus infections in the world is over 2.2 million, with the death toll standing at nearly 155,000. The largest number of victims is reported in the US and Europe. The WHO estimated that, just like China, which announced another 1,290 deaths on Friday in Wuhan, many countries will have to update their death figures for the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the WHO, an accurate reporting of the number of cases and deaths is rather complicated given a number of factors, such as the isolation of patients who die at home alone and difficult bureaucratic procedures.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)