COVID-19 IN ROMANIA - 84 new infections and 2 related fatalities were reported on Monday in Romania. 38 people are now in intensive care, while experts say the fourth wave of the pandemic is by now inevitable. The National Institute for Public Health expects the rate of infection to exceed 1,500 cases per day by mid-September. Health Minister Ioana Mihăilă warned that unvaccinated people pose the highest risk of infection. As regards immunization, over 14,000 people have taken the anti-COVID jab in the last 24 hours. Some 4.8 million people have completed the full vaccination scheme since the start of the vaccination campaign.
PHARMA - The competition between pharmaceutical companies to develop an anti-Covid oral medicine intensifies. A Japanese company has already started clinical trials and enters the race alongside Pfizer or Merck Sharp & Dohme. The pill developed by the Japanese company should be taken once a day and should neutralize the virus within ten days from infection. American laboratories Pfizer and MSD are in a more advanced stage of this process. Pfizer announced that its oral medicine, to be administered twice a day, could reach the market this year. On the other hand, the Israeli Health Ministry announced a decrease in the effectiveness of the Pfizer -BioNTech vaccine in preventing symptomatic Covid infections, but said this vaccine is still highly effective in preventing severe forms of the disease. The Delta strain of Covid-19 has become dominant in Israel where a third dose of the vaccine is already being administered to people with low immunity, people who underwent organ transplant and to patients under chemotherapy. Across the world at least 194 million people have been infected with COVID-19, and there are more than 4.1 million related casualties, according to worldometers.info.
JRC - The feeling of loneliness doubled across the EU during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, reads a report of the Joint Research Center of the European Commission. According to the report, loneliness increased four times for peopled aged 18-35 compared to 2016. Whereas in 2016 some 12% of EU citizens said they felt lonely half the time, the share went up 25% in the first months of the pandemic. Loneliness increased by less than 10% in Romania over April-July 2020.
EDUCATION - Romanian Education Minister Sorin Cimpeanu said that physical presence in school is necessary for students to catch up with what they missed when classes were held mostly online, due to the pandemic. Cimpeanu has said in a news conference that he is confident a prospective fourth wave of the pandemic will not be as aggressive as to disrupt classes that start in autumn. According to the minister, around 60% of the teaching staff have been vaccinated and the figure is higher in the case of university professors.
SUPPORT - Romania granted 300,000 Euro to the Republic of Moldova for the consolidation of civil society and the independence of the media. The announcement was made by the Romanian Foreign Ministry on Monday, which specified that the move comes after a decision in this respect had been taken last week by Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu during an official visit to Chisinau. A similar contribution, of 250 thousand Euro, was made in November 2020. On this occasion, the Romanian Foreign Ministry reiterates the country's strong commitment to supporting Moldova's European path.
OLYMPICS - Boxer Maria Claudia Nechita on Monday advanced to the quarterfinals in the 54-57-kg category after ousting Somalia's Ramla Said Ahmed Ali on points, 5-0. Nechita thus secured the first win in women's boxing at the Olympics. In the next stage she will go up against Sena Irie of Japan on July 28. A win would secure a medal. The women's double scull crew and the men's four crew have qualified to the A final to be held on July 28. So far, Romania has scooped only one medal in this year's edition, the silver won by Ana-Maria Popescu in the women's epee event.
HEAT WAVE - A heat wave will grip Romania this week, and temperatures will increase gradually to exceed 40 degrees Centigrade locally, meteorologists have warned. Thermal discomfort will spike during this period. Minimums will not drop below 20 degrees at night. (VP)