COVID-19 Since the onset of the
COVID-19 pandemic, the total number of coronavirus infections in Romania has
passed 671,000 and the total death toll has reached over 16,600, after over
3,000 new cases and 62 deaths were reported today. 1,065 people are currently
in intensive care. The largest number of cases, 825, was reported in the capital
Bucharest. Since the start of the vaccination programme in Romania on December
27, more than 100,000 people have received the anti-COVID-19 vaccine. Mild and
common side effects have been reported in 350 cases, mostly headaches, muscle
pain, fever, asthenia or rashes. The next stage in the vaccination campaign,
addressing the elderly and chronic patients, is scheduled to start at the end
of next week. The Government is to pass an emergency order granting bonuses to
the personnel involved in the anti-COVID National Vaccination Programme, the
health minister Vlad Voiculescu announced. Family physicians, who are regarded
as a vital element in the immunisation campaign, will also be paid.
FILM "colectiv" (Collective), the Romanian documentary by Alexander Nanau on the 2015 fire that destroyed a Bucharest nightclub and killed scores of people, won the award for best foreign-language film of the US National Society of Film Critics. NSFC posted the announcement on Twitter on Saturday, Agerpres reports. The documentary "colectiv" is Romania’s nomination for the 2021 Oscars in the “best international feature film,” previously known as "best foreign film." This is the first time that Romania submits a documentary in the competition for the Academy Awards. NSFC also voted "Nomadland" by Chloe Zhao as the best feature film of the year 2020.
BANKS As of tomorrow, all banks in Romania are to submit to the National Tax Agency (ANAF) all data on the accounts held by private individuals and business, under an emergency order which transposes a European directive. The new legislation is designed to help the authorities fight against money laundering and terrorism financing. An electronic tax registry will become operational, containing banking and payment accounts identified by International Bank Account Number. The Agency will thus be able to monitor money circuits in Romania and to identify money laundering attempts.
SCHOOLS Romanian students resume online classes tomorrow, for the last 3 weeks of the first half of the academic year. A one-week vacation follows, and the second semester, beginning on February 8, might bring Romania’s 3 million primary, secondary and undergraduate students back into schools. This is one of the options considered by the authorities, depending on the latest COVID-19 developments. Another option is for only pre-schoolers and primary school students to resume face-to-face classes, while in a third scenario 8th and 12th graders might also get back to school.
PLANE CRASH Indonesian rescue teams today traced the black box of the Sriwijaya Air plane that crashed on Saturday in Java Sea with 62 people on board, within minutes from take-off in Indonesian capital Jakarta, Reuters, AFP and dpa report. The Boeing 737-500 was heading for Pontianak (in the west of Borneo island). Heavy rainfall and low visibility slowed down the search and rescue operations. Everyone on board was Indonesian, the authorities said. No distress signals were sent by the aircraft.
SPORTS Romanian women’s handball champions SCM Râmnicu Vâlcea play at home against the Hungarian side Györ in the Champions League Group B. Also today, HC Dunărea Brăila takes on the French team Fleury Loiret Handball, in the EHF European League Group D. Yesterday, Romanian vice-champions CSM Bucharest lost, 31 – 27 away from home, to Ferencvaros Budapest, in their first match this year in the Champions League Group A. In the first leg, the Romanians had won 25-19. Another Romanian women’s handball team, Minaur Baia Mare, defeated Storhamar Handball of Norway, in the EHF European League Group C, 33-29. (tr. A.M. Popescu)