Covid-19 Romania – Romania is still on a rising trend in terms of the number of new coronavirus infections reported – experts have warned. So far about 10,100 cases of infection have been reported, with the death toll reaching 527. Abroad, as many as 1,000 Romanian citizens have been confirmed with the new coronavirus, most of them in Italy, with 64 Romanians from abroad having been killed by the Covid-19 virus. On Wednesday the Romanian President Klaus Iohanis announced that after May 15, when the state of emergency comes to an end, the restrictions on the individuals’ freedom of movement would not be extended. However, people will be obliged to wear face masks in enclosed public spaces and in the public transportation means, with public gatherings remaining strictly banned.
Videoconference – The Romanian President Klaus Iohannis is today participating in a European Council videoconference dealing with measures aimed at managing the Covid-19 pandemic. This is the 4th conference held on the topic which gathers the heads of state and government from the EU. On March 26, the European Council members agreed on the need of a coordinated strategy for relaxing the restrictions imposed in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, on a comprehensive recovery plan and on unprecedented investments. Subsequently, the presidents of the European Council and of the European Commission drafted a roadmap for lifting restrictions across the bloc, which should be based on several criteria such as a significant drop of new coronavirus cases, control of the spread of the virus for a longer period of time, sufficient health system capacity, and testing a bigger number of people. The Committee and the Council added that a common European approach is needed in this regard, although the guidelines for and ways of lifting restrictions may differ from one state to another.
UN – The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has today announced that the new coronavirus crisis could provide certain countries with an excuse for adopting repressive measures on grounds that are not related to the pandemic. He warned that these countries risk turning the pandemic into a human rights crisis, which would be unacceptable. Mr. Gutteres has made public a UN Report which highlights how human rights can and must guide COVID-19 response and recovery from the health, social and economic crisis facing the world. Antonio Guterres added that the world could see how the virus does not discriminate, but its impacts do. According to the UN report, migrants, refugees and displaced people are the most vulnerable categories. 131 countries have closed their borders, with only 30 of them making an exception for asylum seekers. The new coronavirus has so far infected more than 2.5 million people worldwide, of whom almost 180 thousand have died, shows a Reuters death toll.
World Book Day – Starting in 1996, the Word Book and Copyright Day has been celebrated on April 23 upon a UNESCO’s initiative. The day marks the death in 1616 of three great writers of the world: the English William Shakespeare, the Spanish Miguel de Cervantes and the Spanish-born Peruvian Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. Also April 23 is the birthday of such writers as Maurice Druon, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo. UNESCO declared April 23 the World Book and Copyright Day in an attempt to encourage reading, given the sharp decline in reading habits across the world. All countries of the world mark the day by holding events to pay homage to books, writers, editors, book sellers, librarians and of course to readers. The events include book exhibitions and public readings. This year, in the context of the coronaviurs pandemic, the World Book and Copyright Day is marked in a special way. In Romania, the 8th edition of the Open Books Night will be held under the motto ‘celebrate books from #home’. All readers, grownups and children, are invited to share the joy of reading online.
Paris – The French group Renault has today reported a drop of more than 19% in its revenues registered in the first quarter of 2020, against the backdrop of the coronaviurs pandemic. Renault global sales have dropped by almost 26%, and in Europe by 36%. The Dacia brand has been especially affected, reporting in Europe a car registration decline of 44.5%. Production at the Dacia Mioveni Factory, in southern Romania, was resumed partially on Tuesday, based on a volunteering principle. Dacia Company was taken over by the Renault Group in 1999. Re-launched in 2004 with the new Logan model, Dacia has become an important player on the European car market. (tr. L. Simion)