Resilience plan – The loan agreement through the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism between the European Commission and Romania for the disbursement of a first tranche, worth approximately 15 billion Euros, was initialed on Friday by the new Finance Minister, Adrian Câciu, the finance ministry announced on Saturday. The loan will be used to finance the state budget deficit and to refinance the government public debt, based on budget expenditures made for the reforms provided for in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR). The amounts will be made available in ten installments, based on the fulfillment by the Romanian side of the targets provided in the reforms and investments associated with the loan. At the same time, the European Commission will make available a pre-financing of 13% of the loan (about 1.94 billion Euros), after the Agreement comes into force. Under the PNRR Romania benefits from approximately 29 billion Euros, almost half of the amount being a grant and the rest a loan.
COVID Ro - 1,727 new cases of COVID-19 were registered in the last 24 hours in Romania, and 180 deaths, of which 19 deaths were registered prior to the reference interval, the authorities announced on Saturday. The COVID-19 incidence rate calculated for a period of 14 days for Bucharest dropped to 2.26 cases per thousand inhabitants. The highest SARS-CoV-2 infection rate in Bucharest was reached on October 22, namely 16.54 cases per thousand inhabitants. As for the vaccination campaign, since its beginning, in December last year, about 7.35 million people have been fully vaccinated.
COVID world – The World Health Organization has labeled the new coronavirus variant from Africa, called Omicron, a ‘variant of concern’. The variant has a large number of mutations and could be even more contagious than the Delta variant. More and more states have decided to close their borders to people in southern Africa. Restrictions have been announced by the US, Canada, Turkey, as well as by some EU member states. Ursula von der Leyen said that all Member States, through coordination, should activate the so-called Safety Mechanism to suspend flights to countries in southern Africa. The new variant has already been detected in Europe, in Belgium. Tens of passengers on two flights from South Africa were tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival in Amsterdam, the Dutch health authority said on Saturday. They are analyzing the results to see whether it is the new variant of the virus, France Press and Reuters report. First suspected case of infection with the new variant was also identified in Germany in a person who has recently returned from South Africa.
Tennis – The Romanian tennis player Nicolae Frunză on Saturday defeated Nicolas Alvarez, in 2 sets, in Cluj (northwest), in the first singles match of the competition pitting the team of Romanian against that of the state of Peru, in the qualification playoffs for the Davis Cup final phase. The second singles match of the day will pit Marius Copil against Conner Huertas del Pino. The doubles match between Marius Copil / Horia Tecău and Sergio Galdos / Arklon Huertas del Pino will take place on Sunday. Sunday will also see the matches between Marius Copil - Nicolas Alvarez and Nicolae Frunză - Conner Huertas del Pino. With the exception of Horia Tecau, ranked 17th in the world doubles classification, none of the players is in the top 100 of the professional ranking. The two teams meet for the first time in the Davis Cup. (LS)