SERVICE Pope Francis delivered a religious service in the St.
Peter's Basilica in Rome on Palm Sunday urging believers to stay close to those
in need and suffering. On Palm Sunday, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, made his
triumphal entry in Jerusalem where he was welcomed by many with Palm branches.
Five days later He was crucified, died and came back to life again. In the past
years, on Palm Sunday, the day marking the beginning of the Holy Week before
Easter, tens of thousands used to take to the St. Peter's Square with palm and
olive branches in hands for an outdoor religious service. This time, due to the
pandemic restrictions, only 120 believers were allowed to join the Pope and the
30 cardinals in the basilica. Italy is presently seeing a national quarantine
expected to end after Easter. The Vatican, a sovereign state in downtown Rome,
has applied similar restrictions. However, unlike one year ago, the Church of
the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem remained open to visitors on the Catholic Palm Sunday
allowing believers to attend the service. This year, Catholic believers are
celebrating Easter on April 4th while the Orthodox, a majority in
Romania, are to celebrate Christ's resurrection almost a month later, on May 2nd.
TENNIS Romanian tennis player Horia Tecau and Marcelo Arevalo of
Salvador have qualified for the round of 16 of the Miami Open ATP Masters 1000,
a competition with over three million dollars in prize money. The two secured a
6-4, 6-3 win against Henri Kontinen of Finland and Edouard Roger Vasselin of
France. This new pair will be up against top-seeded Juan Sebastian Cabal and
Robert Farah in the eighth finals.
Daylight Saving Time began in Romania on Saturday night when clocks were set
one hour forward and the difference between the local time and GMT became of
three hours. DST was first introduced in Romania back in 1932 but this might be
the last hour change as the European Parliament in 2019 voted in favour of
scrapping this measure inside the EU. Each member state is to decide whether to
keep implementing the DST or not. Countries willing to keep the summer hour
made the change last night, whereas those preferring the winter hour are to
make the final change in the last Sunday of October.
MEASURES A new series of measures aimed at fighting the Covid-19 pandemic came
into effect in Romania as of Sunday. The new measures include a weekend night
curfew starting at 20 hours in regions with an infection rate that exceeds four
per thousand. In these regions shops are to close down at 18 hours while in
areas with an infection rate over 7.5 per thousand, restrictions will be in
force during the entire week. According to the latest data published by the
authorities, over 44 hundred new infections have been reported in Romania in
the past 24 hours most of them in Bucharest. A year on from the onset of the
pandemic, 930 thousand infections have been reported in Romania with a death
toll over 23 thousand. The number of Romanians who got at least a dose of the
anti-Covid vaccine has exceeded 1,900,000. Half of them have also been given
the booster dose.