RECOVERY The 27 EU member states this morning in Brussels have reached an agreement on a historic economic recovery plan for the Union. The 750 billion euro post-crisis plan adds to the EU’s multi-annual budget of 1,074 billion euro for 2021-2027. Of the 750 billion euros, 390 billion will be granted in subsidies to the countries worst hit by the corona crisis, while 360 billion euro will be available in loans. President Klaus Iohannis announced that Romania will receive 80 billion euros, to build schools and hospitals and upgrade major public systems.
COVID-19 According to the latest report released by the Strategic Communication Group, the last 24 hours saw 994 new COVID-19 cases in Romania, bringing the total number to 39,133 since late February. 36 people died over the past 24 hours, with the total death toll standing at 2,074. As many as 1.087 patients have been released at their request, while nearly 300 others are still in intensive care. PM Ludovic Orban has once again called on citizens to comply with protection rules and to use face masks indoors. He said the authorities would not like to introduce new restrictions or measures that would impact the economy. The number of checks and inspections in crowded areas, such as markets, outdoor restaurants or public transport, has been increased.
LAW In Romania, a new law on quarantine and self-isolation has taken effect today. The bill introduced by the Government was drastically amended by Parliament, after the Constitutional Court ruled that such restrictions can only be imposed by law, even in the case of COVID-19 patients. The Cabinet convened this morning to introduce the provisions of the new law in an executive order that extends the state of alert by 30 days, as of July 17. Under the new law, healthcare authorities may decide that patients be hospitalised for 48 hours, for an assessment of their state, after which doctors may either extend the hospitalisation period or send the patient home, if the risk of disease transmission is low. Patients may challenge in court the obligation to self-isolate. The same applies for quarantine measures, which concern people coming from high-risk areas or who have been in contact with infected people. The law also stipulates that doctors and nurses may be transferred to hospitals experiencing staff shortages, but only for 30 days, and they are entitled to bonuses for their work. The law defines the conditions for local or regional lockdowns, a measure that the authorities have been talking about recently.
PANDEMIC With many restrictions lifted and the holiday season in full swing, the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide has doubled in the past 7 weeks, to 15 million, of which 5.3 million active cases at present. Over 614,000 people died. The most affected countries remain the US, Brazil, India, Russia, South Africa, Peru, Mexico, Chile, and the UK. In Europe, the countries with the highest death tolls are the UK, Italy, France and Spain. Asia also sees large numbers of cases in India, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The WHO warns that indigenous peoples in the Amazon rainforest and other parts of the world, accounting for nearly half a million people, are highly vulnerable and measures must be taken as soon as possible.
MILITARY Two Romanian military vessels are taking part in a multinational exercise called “Sea Breeze 20”, held between July 20 and 27 in Ukraine’s territorial sea, in the Black Sea international waters and the port of Odessa. Over 20 military vessels, 19 aircraft and nearly 2,000 troops and officers take part in this NATO exercise.
SPORT The football sides FCSB from Bucharest and Sepsi OSK from Sfântu Gheorghe will be playing the Romanian Cup final on neutral ground in Ploiesti this Wednesday night. In the semi-finals, Sepsi outplayed CSM Poli Iaşi, and FCSB defeated Dinamo Bucharest. Last month, the domestic championship was resumed, after being suspended in March over the COVID-19 epidemic. Topping the standings is CSU Craiova, followed by defending champions CFR Cluj. All football matches in Romania are played without public access.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)