COVID-19 The number of coronavirus infections in Romania remains low, with 44 new cases reported on Sunday out of 18,800 tests conducted in 24 hours. One new COVID-related death was also reported, and 30 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 9.2 million vaccine doses have been given to more than 4.8 million people. Around 4.7 million people are fully vaccinated at present.
RISK A new list of high epidemiological risk countries took effect in Romania on Sunday. Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands are on the red list, while Greece, one of the holiday destinations of choice for Romanians, is now in the yellow zone. On arriving in Romania, travellers who are fully vaccinated are not required to isolate, regardless of the country from which they come. All persons without a full vaccine travelling from a red-list country will have to follow the 14-day quarantine requirement, while those coming from a yellow-list country are only required to quarantine if they don’t have a negative PCR test or proof of having recovered from the disease.
AID The people in the parts of Alba County (central-western Romania) affected by flash floods may receive financial aid from the government as of Monday, the PM Florin Cîţu promised on Sunday. He visited the area affected by flooding, together with the interior minister Lucian Bode, and the defence minister Nicolae Ciucă. 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 in that part of the country. Minister Bode emphasised that the most important thing is that there are no victims, and mentioned that nearly 300 people have been evacuated. Also according to the interior minister, over 120 homes were destroyed, national roads were obstructed and water supply disrupted. Meanwhile, private persons, volunteers and Red Cross representatives were involved in distributing water, food and other supplies.
FLOODS The death toll of the devastating flooding in Germany reached 156 on Sunday, 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 Georgia 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.
TENNIS Horia Tecău (Romania) / Kevin Krawietz (Germany) were defeated by Tim Puetz (Germany) / Michael Venus (New Zealand), 6-3, 6-7 (3), 10-8, on Sunday, in the doubles final of the Hamburg tennis tournament. Tecău and Krawietz played their 4th final, and the only title they won together was in June, in the Halle tournament. (tr. A.M. Popescu)