COVID-19 RO. Romania has no green zone in terms of coronavirus infections, after, on Saturday, the threshold of 1.5 cases of COVID-19 per thousand inhabitants in the last 14 days was exceeded in Vrancea county (east), the only one in which the number of cases was lower. In more than half of the country, the incidence rate exceeds three cases per thousand, with the highest values in Sibiu (center) and Cluj (northwest). The latest report indicates 9,460 new cases in 24 hours, out of just over 37,000 tests. A new record was also reported in intensive care: 1,172 patients. The number of deaths associated with COVID-19 increased by 129, raising the death-toll to some 8800. Against the background of the epidemiological situation, the state of alert was extended until mid-December. President Klaus Iohannis once again called on the population to comply with the new restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus. The head of state estimates that these additional measures will show results in two or three weeks. Several localities are in quarantine.
PANDEMIC. The restrictions imposed recently by the governments of many countries are starting to show the first results, but the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is a severe burden for all healthcare systems. The biggest pressure is on the intensive care units. Almost 54 million people have been infected with the new virus, of whom 38 million have cured, since the virus appeared in China almost a year ago. The death toll has exceeded 1.3 million worldwide. The United States, the worst hit country, with nearly 250,000 deaths, reported worrying figures for two days in a row. In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says efforts must be doubled to curb the epidemic. On the European continent, Germany, Austria and Portugal have announced new daily records. In Italy, the number of infections has tripled in a month.
ELECTION. The neighboring Republic of Moldova holds the second round of the presidential elections on Sunday. The incumbent pro-Russia president Igor Dodon runs against the former pro-Europe Prime Minister, Maia Sandu. In the first round, Maia Sandu got the largest number of votes 36%, while Igor Dodon won less than 33%. However, the final battle is expected to be extremely close, and the balance could be tipped by the votes in the Diaspora for Maia Sandu or in the Russian-speaking separatist Transdniestr for Igor Dodon. During the campaign, the current pro-Russia president urged his supporters to hold post-election protests if necessary, to defend his victory. As for Maia Sandu, she spoke about the need for change and the fight against corruption.
ECONOMY. The budget for next year will be presented by the new government, which will be formed after the parliamentary elections on December 6, the Romanian Finance Minister Florin Cîţu has announced. According to Eurostat and the NSI, in the third quarter Romania had, in real terms, an economic growth of 5.6%. The minister also said that foreign direct investments have decreased in all countries of the world, and what is missing is the reinvested profit, but, says Florin Cîţu, in Romania the state has supplemented by increasing public investments, which have reached a record level of over 35 billion after ten months. On the other hand, there is room for a reduction in the monetary policy interest rate in Romania, given the lower-than-expected drop in the inflation rate, which would be an asset to stimulate the economy, the finance minister also said at a press conference. On Friday, the NBR revised downwards its inflation estimates to 2.1% at the end of this year, down 0.6 percentage points from the previous forecast.
NIGHT OF MUSEUMS. More than 60 museums and cultural spaces in Romania participate in the 16th edition of the Night of Museums festival with interactive activities on social networks and on their own websites. Usually organized in May, it was moved to mid-November due to the pandemic. Initiated 16 years ago by the French Ministry of Culture, sponsored by the Council of Europe, UNESCO and the International Council of Museums, the Night of Museums festival mobilized in 2019, in Romania, over 150 museums and cultural entities, which interacted with almost 1 million people.
FOOTBALL. All the players and staff members of the Romanian national football team have tested negative for Covid-19, so the Romanian squad can play the match against Norway - the Romanian Football Federation announced today. The Romania-Norway match takes place on Sunday evening, in Bucharest. Then, on November 18, the Romanians will travel to Northern Ireland. Both League of Nations matches are important for the FIFA rankings, which will determine the ballot boxes for the draw of the preliminary groups for the 2022 World Cup. (M. Ignatescu)