COVID-19 President Klaus Iohannis announced Monday that the anti-COVID-19 vaccination campaign will be endorsed by the Supreme Defence Council in the forthcoming period. On Monday Iohannis had talks with ministers of Defence, Healthcare and Interior Affairs to discuss the campaign. Under the strategy, priority groups will include healthcare staff, vulnerable people, and personnel in key sectors. Klaus Iohannis emphasised that once approved by relevant international bodies, the vaccines will be safe, efficient and are the only viable solution to end the pandemic. Romania will receive 10.7 million anti-COVID-19 shots from the European Commission in several batches. On Monday another 4,207 new infections with SARS-CoV-2 and 130 related deaths were reported in Romania. The national death toll has reached 10,177. Since the beginning of the outbreak, 422,825 people got infected with coronavirus, over two thirds of whom have recovered.
ELECTION Citizens living in quarantined areas will be able to vote in the December 6 legislative election. On Monday Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said there will be no restrictions in this respect, adding that citizens infected with COVID-19 and those in quarantine or home isolation will be able to vote with the help of mobile ballot boxes. More and more towns and villages across Romania are going into lockdown as the infection rate continues to grow.
CoD Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu Monday opened the 32nd meeting of the Council of Democracies (CoD), held online this year. Aurescu reiterated Bucharest’s firm commitment to promoting the principles of the Warsaw Declaration, and its support for countries undergoing democratic transition processes. Romania is holding the Council presidency until September 2021. Founded in 2000 and totaling 106 member states, the Council of Democracies is the widest platform for exchanging views and know-how in the field of global democracy.
AID The European Commission approved a nearly 4.4 million EUR aid scheme for Romanian regional airports, to cover net losses incurred because of the pandemic between March and June this year. The scheme is open to Romanian airports with 200,000 to 3 million passengers per year.
TELEWORK Almost half (48%) of the Romanians currently working from home say they appreciate no longer wasting time in traffic, but over 26% say their emotional state is worse, according to a survey made public by Reveal Marketing Research on Monday. Among the advantages of teleworking, 45% of the interviewees list the flexible working hours and 42% the time spent with their families. Also, although 79% of Romanians believe they are as efficient or even more efficient than they were at the office, 44% say they are now working more. The survey was conducted this October, and included 600 people from big cities who are working fully or partly from home.
POLLUTION In Europe, better air quality led to a drop in the number of premature deaths between 2009 and 2018, but Europeans are still affected by air pollution, reads a European Commission report released on Monday. Six EU Member States (Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland and Romania) exceeded the ceiling for fine particulate matter in 2018. According to the report, there remains a gap between EU's legal air quality limits and WHO guidelines, an issue that the European Commission seeks to address with a revision of the EU standards under the Zero Pollution Action Plan. (translated by: A.M. Popescu)