Covid-19 RO. New cases of infection with the new coronavirus have been reported in Romania, raising the total to 20,945, the Strategic Communication Group announced on Wednesday. 15,103 patients have recovered and 150 are in intensive care. Out of those who tested positive, 1360 have died. Some 3,300 Romanian nationals living abroad have tested positive, mostly in Italy, Germany and Spain and 114 have died. Also on Wednesday, a testing program started in Bucharest, aimed at establishing the immunization level. 10,500 people have been selected to take part in the testing campaign, based on sampling conducted by the National Public Health Institute.
US. The team sent by the Romanian Defense Ministry to support the US State of Alabama in the fight against the pandemic has returned home. Upon the return of the Romanian specialists, the US Ambassador to Romania Adrian Zuckerman hailed the initiative and thanked both the team and the Romanian authorities for their support. In turn, the Romanian Defense Minister Nicolae Ciuca has stated that the mission was part of the strategic partnership between Romania and the US. For two weeks, the team carried out 25 missions in medical treatment facilities in Alabama.
Senate. In Bucharest, the Finance Minister Florin Cîţu has been invited again to the Senate's economic and budget-finance committees next week. The talks had been scheduled to take place on Wednesday, but the minister could not attend, saying such an invitation should be sent at least 48 hours before the meeting. He was supposed to present explanations regarding the Standard&Poor's decision with respect to including Romania in their investment-grade category. On Tuesday, a simple motion tabled by the Social Democratic Party in opposition against labour minister Violeta Alexandru was discussed and passed by the Senate. The Social Democrats asked for the minister's resignation over the emergency order on furlough and other measures concerning vulnerable categories, which, they say, was poorly written and required several successive changes. The minister was also criticized for how she handled the situation of the Romanian nationals who left the country to work abroad.
Euro. Romania does not meet any of the four economic criteria needed for the adoption of the Euro, namely price stability, sound public finances, exchange rate stability and long-term interest rate convergence, shows the 2020 convergence report published on Wednesday by the European Commission. In the past 12 months, until March 2020, the rate of inflation was 3.7%, which is way higher than the reference value of 1.8%. Also, it is estimated that the inflation rate will remain high in the coming months. The EC Convergence Report covers the seven non-Euro area Member States that have made a legal commitment to adopt the Euro: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden. The report is based on the convergence criteria also known as 'the Maastricht criteria', which are set out in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
Protest. The ''Ambulanţa'' National Trade Union Federation on Wednesday organized a 2-hour protest across Romania, to warn against the postponement of regulations concerning the ambulance personnel and the organization of ambulance services in the country. All ambulances in the country carried a poster reading 'National Protest'. The unionists are also disgruntled, among other things, with the authorities failing to pay the COVID-19 bonus and other incentives, and overlooking a number of legislative initiatives proposed by the Federation.
Pandemic. The total number of novel coronavirus infections worldwide has exceeded 7.2 million, with over 3.5 million patients recovered and 408,000 dead, according to worldometers.info. The US remains the worst hit country in the world, with nearly 113,000 deaths, followed by Britain with close to 41,000, Brazil (over 38,000) and Italy (over 34,000 deaths). Brazil, one of the most affected countries in the world, has resumed the release of data concerning the Covid-19 infections on the government's home page, following a Supreme Court ruling. In spite of the large number of victims, many countries continue to ease containment measures and restart their economies.
Festival. 272 young musicians from 41 countries have registered for the George Enescu International Contest, to be held in Bucharest between the 29th of August and the 20th of September. According to a communiqué issued by organizers, most competitors, 50, are from South Korea. Next come Romania with 27 participants and China with 21. Dubbed the most important international cultural event organized by Romania, the George Enescu Festival has put on its agenda 19 concerts and recitals open for the larger audience. The organizers have stated they trust the measures implemented at national and international level to properly mange the Covid-19 pandemic.
Football. The Bucharest football teams Dinamo and FCSB are to play one of the semifinals of the Romanian Cup, the 2019-2020 edition. The other semifinal will face Sepsi OSK Sfantu Gheorghe and CSM Poli Iasi. The two legs will be held on June 24 and July 8 respectively. The Romanian Cup Final will be played on July 22nd, in Craiova, in the south. The internal championship, interrupted because of the Covid-19 epidemic, will be resumed on Friday. The leader is the defending champion CFR Cluj, followed by FCSB. (M.Ignatescu)