COVID-19 In Romania the Strategic Communication Group reported on Saturday a new record-high number of COVID-19 cases—1,284 out of over 22,500 tests. This is the 4th consecutive day with over 1,000 new COVID-19 cases per day. The total number of cases so far is 43,678, with over 25,300 patients having recovered and the death toll standing at 2,165. So far 1,087,783 tests have been processed in Romania. Abroad, 5,329 Romanian nationals have tested positive for coronavirus, and the number of deaths has reached 123. Passengers landing in Greece on flights from Romania and Bulgaria as of July 28 must present a negative COVID-19 test taken no earlier than 72 hours before the date of arrival, the Greek authorities decided. Romania’s PM Ludovic Orban promised the authorities will use all lawful means available to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, but warned that this goal requires the contribution of all citizens, who are once again urged to observe protection measures. The health minister Nelu Tătaru announced Romania is to receive 600 doses of Remdesivir, used in treating COVID-19 patients. He explained this is only used as part of a clinical trial and will only be sent to the clinics included in the programme.
PANDEMIC The total number of COVID-19 infections worldwide is quickly nearing 16 million, with 10 million patients recovered and more than 640,000 dead, according to Worldometers.info. A growing number of governments are now considering reintroducing restrictions, as the easing of containment measures in the past month has led to a worsening of the situation. On Friday the US reported over 70,000 new cases for the second day in a row as well as 1,000 deaths, Johns Hopkins University announced. The number of new cases rose in Europe as well. on Friday Italy announced 14-day quarantine requirements for people coming from Romania and Bugaria. France introduced compulsory testing for citizens coming from 16 non-EU countries with high COVID-19 infection rates, including the US and Algeria. As of Saturday, Czechs will have to wear face masks when attending indoor events with more than 100 participants.
DIPLOMACY The Romanian foreign minister Bogdan Aurescu had a telephone discussion on Friday with his Spanish counterpart Arancha Gonzalez Laya, regarding the excellent bilateral cooperation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2 officials reviewed the measures taken by both states to mitigate the effects of the crisis at healthcare, economic and social level. Minister Aurescu thanked Spain for its support during the pandemic in terms of the mobility of Romanian citizens to and from Spain. In turn, the Spanish official emphasised the excellent consular cooperation during this complicated period, and voiced hopes that this will carry on. Aurescu also spoke about the essential role of the Romanian community in key areas of the Spanish economy and thanked Spanish authorities for their support in integrating the Romanian citizens who work and live in Spain.
NAVY The French command and support vessel “Var” Saturday conducted joint drills with the Romanian Navy, as part of its stopover in the Black Sea port of Constanţa. According to the French Embassy in Romania, this mission, alongside other French Navy missions at the Black Sea, was designed to ensure maritime protection, to facilitate cooperation between partners and interoperability. The main mission of the 169-strong crew of the French offshore support vessel is to provide logistical support and materials for vessels during missions, including refuelling and water, food, ammunition, medicine and spare part restocking.
WORKERS 11 Romanian nationals working on a farm in Borken, Germany, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the Romanian Foreign Ministry announced. According to the employer, around 120 Romanian citizens are currently working there. The patients are asymptomatic and have been isolated from the rest of the employees, with food and other necessary items provided to them. So far Romania’s consular office in Bonn has not received any requests for consular assistance from the employees of the farm in question, but it stays in contact with local authorities and is ready to provide assistance if necessary.
WEATHER Several bad weather alerts are in place this weekend in Romania. A code orange alert concerning the western half of the country is valid until Sunday morning, a code yellow alert is already in place in the west, south-west, north and in the mountains, while a second one will be effective as of Sunday morning. Heavy rainfalls, thunderstorms, strong wind and hail storms are expected. (translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)