3 coronavirus cases confirmed in Romania, all patients' current state reported as "good"
COVID19 Romania has 3 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection, with the patients’ current state reported as good. Another 52 people are quarantined across the country, and 8,796 are under home monitoring. The healthcare authorities in the counties Timiş in the west and Maramureş in the north-west are running investigations to establish the people who were in contact with the 2 persons who tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday. Both of them had travelled to Italy recently. The first patient in Romania, a 25 year old man from Gorj County, in the south, is feeling well, and Friday’s tests came out negative, doctors say. If the next test is also negative, the patient will be discharged. In Europe, Italy remains the most affected country. As the epidemic spread, stock exchanges across the world reported total losses of over 5 trillion US dollars. The BBC says the US financial markets have not been hit so hard since the 2008 financial crisis. Investors fear that the growing number of coronavirus cases outside China may turn the disease into a pandemic.
AFGHANISTAN Romania welcomes Saturday’s agreement signed by the USA and the Taliban for the normalisation of the situation in Afghanistan, as well as the joint declaration between Washington and Kabul for bringing peace to Afghanistan, the Romanian foreign ministry announced. Romania voices confidence that full implementation of these agreements will lead to stability in Afghanistan. According to the foreign ministry, Bucharest will continue to support the efforts to ensure peace and security in Afghanistan, coordinating with its NATO allies. The US and the Taliban Saturday signed in Doha, Qatar, a historic agreement that paves the way for the withdrawal of all American troops from Afghanistan in the next 14 months and for inter-Afghan peace negotiations after 18 years of war.
EUROVISION Buzau, in the south-east of the country, is hosting on Sunday the national final for the Eurovision Song Contest. The public and a specialised jury will choose the song to be performed in the 2020 Rotterdam international competition by Romania’s representative, Roxen. Several pieces have been written for her, and the best 5 of them are in the national final. Roxen gained popularity last summer with her song "You Don’t Love Me", aired in France, Mexico, the USA, Russia, Spain, Greece, Switzerland, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Estonia. Roxen will compete in the Eurovision first semi-final on May 12, with the final scheduled for May 16.
MIGRANTS Greece prevented 4,000 migrants to enter its territory “illegally” from Turkey, a spokesman for the Greek government announced on Saturday after an emergency meeting chaired by PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis, AFP and Reuters report. On Friday, the country faced a mass, organised and illegal border crossing attempt, but it managed to overcome it, the government spokesperson explained. He added that Greece protected its borders and the borders of the EU. Also on Saturday, in an address in Istanbul, Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country will open its borders to enable migrants to leave, and criticised the EU for not helping Ankara enough. Turkey says it was forced to ease border controls for the refugees trying to reach the EU from Turkey, because of the pressure of the refugees coming from Syria amid clashes in the rebel stronghold of Idlib.
RUSSIA Thousands of Russian opposition supporters gathered in Moscow on Saturday to protest the constitutional reforms initiated by president Vladimir Putin and to pay tribute to opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, murdered 5 years ago near Kremlin, AFP reports. In Sankt-Petersburg, nearly 2,000 people rallied in the centre of the city. The authorised march is the first important public gathering since Putin announced a Constitution review set to strengthen the role of the president and of the State Council. The killing of Boris Nemtsov in February 2015 had huge echoes in Russia and abroad. Nemtsov was in the middle of an investigation into the involvement of the Russian Army in the east Ukraine war.
HANDBALL Romania’s women’s handball champions, CSM Ramnicu Valcea, Saturday defeated the Swedish side Savehof, 28-20 at home, in the Champions’ League Main Group 2. In Main Group 1 in the same competition, vice-champions CSM Bucharest play away from home on Sunday against the French team Metz. The Romanian teams are ranking 4th in their respective groups and CSM is the only one having secured a place in the quarter-finals. In men’s handball, champions Dinamo Bucharest take on Sporting Lisbon, on Sunday night, after a 26-25 win away from home. If they go past the Portuguese team, Dinamo move into the Champions League round of 16.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)