A roundup of local and international news.
Pandemic Romania. 994 new coronavirus cases and 94 related deaths were
recorded in Romania on Tuesday. Hospital cases continue to drop as some 8,000
Covid patients are currently receiving hospital treatment, of whom around 1,200
in intensive care. The national incidence rate dropped to almost 1.5 cases per
1,000 people in a fortnight. The capital Bucharest still has the highest
rate, at a little under 2.5. Army hospitals in the big cities will from today
also be administering the Covid vaccine to the general population. Those who
wish to get the vaccine can simply show up at any time, without an appointment.
More than 3.7 million people have received at least one dose of the Covid
vaccine in Romania since the start of the mass vaccination campaign on 27th
December last year, with 2 million being fully vaccinated.
Parliament. The Romanian Parliament resumes work this week. Today, the Senate
is discussing a proposal to amend the criminal code to comply with a ruling of
the Constitutional Court from 7th April according to which courts
will be obliged to publish the justification of their judicial decisions
together with the decisions in question. Also, the deadline for delivering a
verdict cannot be postponed beyond 120 days. The Senate is also expected to
vote on an initiative from the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Alliance
for the Union of Romanians (AUR) to set up a parliamentary committee to investigate the evacuation and transfer of
patients from Bucharest's main orthopaedics hospital when the latter was turned
into a Covid hospital. A month ago, dozens of orthopaedic patients were moved
in haste, others were discharged and yet others saw their surgeries postponed.
The Chamber of Deputies will meet in full session on Wednesday, its agenda
featuring several bills already rejected by the specialist committees, such as
an initiative to raise child benefits and the periodic review, every 3 year, of
documents based on which an employee is assigned a given occupational category.
School. Schools are reopening on Wednesday in Romania after a 4-week
holiday. Education minister Sorin
Cîmpeanu said in-person learning will resume for all nursery school
and primary school children, as well as
for secondary and high school children where the Covid infection rate is below
1 case in 1,000 residents tested. According to the latest data, there are 1,800
such localities. In the other 1,400 localities with a higher infection rate,
only final-year secondary and high school pupils will resume in person learning
from 10th of May.
Pandemic world. The Indian Covid
variant has been detected in a number of European countries, with the World
Health Organisation warning against the relaxation of protection measures and
saying that the world is not safe as long as the huge outbreak in India is still
wreaking havoc. The Organisation called on the world's richest nations
gathering at the G7 summit to provide the missing funding to ensure fair access
to vaccination around the world. In the European Union, member states'
ambassadors will discuss a proposal from the European Commission to allow entry
of travellers from non-EU countries with a good epidemiological situation and
who are fully vaccinated with the jabs approved in the Union. In Europe, states
began to ease restrictions. In France, internal travel is now allowed, schools
have reopened and shops, cinemas, restaurants and museums will also reopen at
limited capacity from 19th May. Germany, however, has cancelled
Oktoberfest next autumn for the second time in a row. In the US, the Florida
governor announced the lifting of all restrictions following the success of the
vaccination campaign and New York will resume round-the-clock subway service.
Turkey, on the other hand, goes into its first full lockdown from today.
G7. The foreign ministers of the
world's biggest economies will meet in London for their first face-to-face meeting
in the last two years. Talks will focus on new ways to defend international
regulations from external threats. UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab will chair
discussions on the crisis in Myanmar and the relations with Russia, China and
Iran. This first in-person meeting after two years is viewed by the UK as an
opportunity to consolidate support for a rules-based international system at a
time when China's economic influence and Russia's activities are threatening to
undermine it. The G7 group is made up of the UK, Canada, France, Germany,
Italy, Japan and the United States. Australia, India, South Korea and South
Africa have also been invited to the 3-day summit.
Tennis. World no. 3 Simona Halep is today facing
Belgium's Elise Mertens in the third round of the Madrid tennis tournament
worth over 2.5 million euros. In second round on Sunday, Halep defeated China's
Saisai Zheng. She has two titles in Madrid, winning here in 2016 and 2017 and
losing two finals, in 2014 to Maria Sharapova and in 2019 to Kiki Bertens.(CM)