COVID-19 The vaccination rate is expected to reach 100,000 people per day in April, the PM of Romania Florin Cîţu announced on Monday. This is when several million doses of vaccine are scheduled to reach the country, including the new type produced by the US company Johnson & Johnson, which does not require a second dose. A new batch of Pfizer/BioNTech doses arrived on Monday in Romania, where the national vaccine rollout is in full swing. Two million people have so far got the vaccine and half of them the booster dose. On the other hand, 3,825 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Romania on Monday, out of over 14,000 tests. The total number of infections is over 940,000, and the death toll passes 23,200, according to the Strategic Communication Group. Also on Monday 120 new deaths were reported, and a new record of nearly 1,400 patients are in intensive care. The infection rate remains high in Ilfov County, over 8.5 per thousand, and in Bucharest, over 7 per thousand. New measures to contain the epidemic came into force on Sunday. In regions with an infection rate above 4 per thousand, a night curfew is in place over the weekend between 8 pm and 5 am, two hours earlier than in the rest of the week. Shops must close at 6pm at weekend, and in regions with an infection rate above 7.5 per thousand the same restrictions are applicable the entire week. The new measures have sparked protests in Romania's big cities, where people took to the streets on Monday chanting anti-government slogans.
MOTION A simple motion against Romanian agriculture minister Adrian Oros was discussed on Monday in the Chamber of Deputies in Bucharest. The Social Democratic Party in opposition, which tabled it, is blaming the minister for having failed to take the right measures to offer compensations to the farmers affected by the drought. This is the worst period for the Romanian agriculture, heavily affected by the drought and the pandemic and also by the minister's incompetence, the Social Democrats said. The document is to be voted upon on Wednesday. This is the third simple motion tabled by the Social Democrats in the present Parliament season. The other two, tabled against the ministers of health and economy, have been dismissed by Parliament.
ANTI-SEMITISM The Prosecutor’s Office attached to the Bucharest District 1 Court ordered the 24-hour detention of a young man in a case involving death threats and anti-Semitic emails received by the actress Maia Morgenstern, director of the State Jewish Theatre in Bucharest. The message was made public by Maia Morgenstern on Theatre Day and the Jewish holiday of Passover, and was signed “On behalf of AUR”. The leader of this parliamentary party, George Simion, condemned the attack, claiming the sender cannot be a member of his party. The Government’s special representative for promoting remembrance policies and fighting anti-Semitism and xenophobia, Alexandru Muraru, said however he had reservations as concerns the statements of this party, which he described as a neo-fascist group known for its public anti-Semitic and nationalist views. Politicians and public figures in Romania condemned the message, and the case was given international coverage as well.
EXAMS Romanian 8th-graders started mock exams in preparation of secondary school graduation, with the Romanian language and literature test held on Monday. The math test is scheduled on Tuesday. The mock exams are held in schools, in regions where the COVID-19 infection rate is not over 6 per thousand. In places where the rate is higher, the mock exams can be postponed, but will not be held later than May 15. The national assessment exam will take place as originally scheduled, between June 22 and 25, after authorities considered delaying it over the pandemic. Because of the COVID-19 epidemic, classes have been held mostly online this year, and the education process has been disrupted. (tr. A.M. Popescu)