COVID-19 The number of coronavirus infections in Romania remains low, with 49 new cases reported on Saturday out of over 25,000 tests conducted in 24 hours. Two new COVID-related deaths were also reported, and 32 patients are in intensive care. In related news, the European Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides, who was recently on a visit to Romania, urged the authorities to step up the vaccine rollout, to protect against the new coronavirus variants. Since 27 December 2020, when the vaccination campaign began in Romania, over 9,200,000 vaccine doses have been given to more than 4,800,000 people. Around 4.7 million people are fully vaccinated at present.
AID In the regions severely affected by flooding in Alba County, central Romania, efforts continue to help the over 200 people left without homes. The Romanian PM Florin Cîţu announced that after an assessment of the damages, the government will provide immediately any form of aid for the families affected. Meanwhile, private persons, volunteers and Red Cross representatives are involved in distributing water, food and other supplies. Record amounts of precipitations have been reported in the region over the past few days, with 223 litres of rainwater per square metre within 5 hours causing unprecedented flooding, the authorities say.
FLOODS The death toll of the devastating flooding in Germany has reached 156 today, bringing the total number of deaths in Western Europe up to at least 183, AFP reports. In Germany, people have been urged to stay away from basements and underground garages and passage ways, and authorities warned that flooded roads are a danger to citizens. Chancellor Angela Merkel described the situation as a 'national tragedy’ and promised state aid for reconstruction and repair works. These efforts are expected to cost several billion euros. In Austria, fire fighters are in standby in the regions of Salzburg and Tirol, while the town of Hallein is under water. 'Unfortunately, the heavy rainfalls and storms have caused severe damage in several parts of Austria,' PM Sebastian Kurz has tweeted.
PESTICIDE Several batches of ice-cream have been recalled from the Romanian market. The products contained small amounts of a carcinogen. The European Commission decided that products containing the additive locust bean gum (E410) contaminated with ethylene oxide must be withdrawn from the EU market even if the pesticide is not detected. After 3 emergency meetings held on the 29 and 30 June and on 13 July, the Commission also decided that the products already purchased by consumers should be recalled.
VISIT The president of the Republic of Moldova Maia Sandu will be on an official visit to Gergia on 19-20 July, MOLDPRES reports. The Moldovan president will attend an international conference in Batumi, entitled 'Three states – one choice: Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine on the move’. The event aims to improve cooperation between the 3 EU associated partners. In Batumi, Maia Sandu will have meetings with her Georgian counterpart Salome Zourabichvili, with the Ukrainian PM Volodimir Zelenski, and with the president of the European Council, Charles Michel.
FILM The French director Julia Doucournau last night won the Palme d'Or for her film "Titane", at the Cannes Film Festival, thus becoming the second woman awarded in this category in the festival’s 7-decade long history. According to Radio Romania’s correspondent in Paris, the award for best director went to Leos Carax, for "Annette". Caleb Landry Jones and Renate Reinsve won the awards for best actor and actress. Romanian films were also appreciated in Cannes, with Carina Gabriela Daşoveanu winning 3rd place in the Cinefondation category and Teodora Ana Mihai taking the Courage Prize in the "Un certain regard" category. (tr. A.M. Popescu)