Frequency change - As January 25, 2021, Radio Romania International will change some of its shortwave frequencies. From this date on, the 04.00 UTC broadcast beamed on India will be broadcasted on 11,790 kHz in the analog system, while the digital broadcast will go out on 13,720 kHz in the DRM system.
Bucharest - Around 350,000 people have been vaccinated in Romania since the beginning of the campaign, at the end of December. The Prime Minister Florin Cîţu announced that the country has a stock of 2.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to use by the end of March. The government introduced in the second vaccination stage, which began on January 15, new categories of people, including people with disabilities and those who take care of them, the diplomatic staff, seafarers and athletes who participate in international competitions. According to a government decision, the registration platform will be modified to give priority to the elderly and vulnerable people. Since the onset of the pandemic, over 700,000 contaminations have been registered in Romania. About 17,000 patients have died and 1,000 are in ICUs.
EU – Meeting for an online summit, the European leaders decided on Thursday evening to keep the Union's internal borders open, but to impose new restrictions on non-essential travels, in an attempt to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the virus mutations. Next week, the European Commission is to present a set of concrete measures in this sense. The head of the EC Ursula von der Leyen has announced that new color-code zones will be established, namely dark red and light red for the areas with a high number of infections and with intense circulation of the virus. The Heads of State and Government also stated that, for non-essential travels outside the Union, mandatory COVID-19 tests will be required in Europe before traveling. As for the idea of a vaccination passport, proposed by the tourism-dependent countries, it has been postponed for the time being
Protests - In Bucharest and other cities of Romania, continue the protests organized by one of the biggest trade union confederations in Romania, Cartel Alfa. Today, the trade unionists' representatives went to the Labor Ministry, after, late last month, the labor minister Raluca Turcan had promised them to come up with a timetable for discussions with the social partners for the sustainable growth of the minimum wage Also today, the prefect’s offices of the cities of Arad (west) and Gorj (southwest) will be picketed. The employees of the Interior Ministry are also protesting, as they are discontented with the salary capping announced by the government.
Restrictions – Bucharest authorities might decide today on the partial resumption of some activities indoors that had been forbidden for more than three months, when the Capital was in the red zone. Nevertheless, relaxation of measures can only happen if the contamination rate remains below 3 cases per thousand. According to Prefect Traian Berbeceanu, an extraordinary meeting of the Municipal Committee for Emergency Situations will be summoned to propose the adoption of a decision on relaxing the restrictive measures in force. Therefore, following the relaxation of restrictions, theaters and cinemas, as well as restaurants, bars and cafes will be opened with an occupancy rate of a maximum 30%. At the same time, licensed gambling operators will be allowed to resume their activity, with the observance of the 30% occupancy rate.
UN – A UN treaty on a comprehensive ban on nuclear weapons has taken effect today. The document includes a commitment not to develop, test or threaten to use nuclear weapons. This is not the first treaty initiated by the UN which is aimed at encouraging nuclear disarmament. The Non-Proliferation Treaty, concluded in the 1970s, was signed by 119 nations, but its main objective was rather to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, rather than to totally ban them. Although there have been some reductions in weapon stocks, countries have continued to modernize their arsenal, while other countries have simply ignored the treaty. None of the 122 states that have signed the new treaty on a ban on nuclear weapons has such weapons, the BBC reports. (tr. L. Simion)