Measles - The Romanian Health Ministry has declared a national measles epidemic. The measure comes after the confirmation of almost 2,000 cases since the beginning of the year. In the last week of November alone, almost 200 cases were reported. The Ministry officials emphasize that the number of cases has increased alarmingly and more and more children need hospitalization in the pediatric and infectious disease wards. The measure taken by the authorities facilitates the vaccination of children aged between 9 and 11 months, as well as the recovery of those who are not vaccinated or whose vaccination schedule is incomplete. Measles is an extremely contagious viral disease, which can lead to complications such as encephalitis and pneumonia and even death. The symptoms of infection are similar to those of a cold, except that the temperature can rise up to 41 degrees C, the eyes are sensitive to light, and the rash first appears on the face and then spreads to the whole body. Anyone is at risk if they have not had the disease or are not vaccinated against measles.
Visit - The Romanian Prime Minister, Marcel Ciolacu, continues his official visit to the US, together with the Ministers of Economy, Defense and Foreign Affairs. According to Radio Romania’s correspondent, the government delegation left Washington and arrived in New York, where meetings are scheduled today with the president of the UN General Assembly, Dennis Francis, with the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, as well as with the president of the World Jewish Council, Ronald Lauder. On Tuesday, the Romanian PM discussed with members of the American Congress on the strategic partnership between the two countries in the fields of defense, security, energy and trade. After the meeting with the Secretary for Energy, Jennifer Granholm, Ciolacu stated that the projects of units 3 and 4 from Cernavodă (south-east) and that of the small nuclear unit from Doicesti (south) remain a priority, in the context in which Romania has set ensuring energy independence as one of its main objectives.
Handball–Romania’s women's national handball team will play, on Thursday, in the Danish city of Herning, against Germany, its first match in the main Group III of the World Championship. Later, the Romanian players will meet Poland and Japan. The two top ranking teams qualify for the quarterfinals. Romania entered the group with 2 points, after, in the first phase of the competition, it defeated Chile and Serbia and was outranked by Denmark. The star of the Romanian national team, Cristina Neagu, four times appointed the best handball player in the world, has not yet played. Romania is the only team that has participated in all 26 editions of the World Women's Handball Championship and its record includes one gold medal (1962), two silver medals (1973, 2005) and one bronze medal (2015). In the previous edition, the Romanian handballers ranked 13th.
JHA - The European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, stated, after the Council of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) meeting, on Tuesday, in Brussels, that the Commission's objective remains to make a decision, this year, on the extension of Schengen and the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the free travel area. From Washington, the Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu explained that the political moment was not favorable for Romania to ask for a new vote in the JHA Council on Tuesday, but he expressed optimism that this could happen soon. Last year, Austria voted, in the JHA Council, against the admission of both countries to the Schengen area, while the Netherlands had reservations only regarding Bulgaria. For Schengen accession, unanimity is needed.
PISA - The average scores obtained by Romanian students were similar to those recorded in 2018 in Mathematics, Reading and Science, according to the Program for International Student Assessment - PISA 2022, launched in Bucharest. Asia, led by Singapore, stood out once again in this educational program, carried out by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The results show that Romania is below the OECD average in all three areas tested. The main striking fact of the PISA 2022 edition consists in an "unprecedented drop in the performance" of students, according to specialists. Among the main reasons are: the health crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis in the attractiveness of the teaching profession, which affects more and more countries, as well as the quality of teaching, the lack of support for teachers and students or cooperation in schools, or even the involvement of parents in schooling, which decreased compared to 2018. (LS)