COVID-19 Ro - 2,069 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Romania, the Strategic Communication Group announced on Monday afternoon. The total number of cases across Romania since the start of the pandemic is 157 thousand. 628 patients are in intensive care. Another 56 people have died from Covid-19 which takes the total death toll to 5,467. Health minister Nelu Tataru announced that Covid-19 patients who have no symptoms and do not suffer from other medical conditions will be assessed at home and will get an appointment with the doctor for medical tests. A decision in this regard will be made this week. According to minister Tataru the measure will help reduce the overcrowding of emergency units of hospitals treating Covid-19 patients.
COVID-19 world – The total number of COVID-19 cases around the world has exceeded 37.8 million with 1 million deaths reported, shows worldometers.info. The US continues to be the most affected country by the pandemic with almost 8 million cases of contamination and almost 220 thousand deaths. The situation is very serious also in Europe. 8 big cities of France, Paris included, are now on maximum alert and obliged to apply further restrictive measures to fight the pandemic. According to a study by the French National Order of Nurses, burnout has reached 57% of the healthcare personnel, 37% intend to leave the public health system soon and 43% say they will not be doing the same job in 5 years’ time. Italian authorities have already imposed the obligation of wearing face masks also in outdoor spaces and have extended the state of emergency until January 31.
Luxembourg – The Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu on Monday addressed the meeting of the foreign ministers of the EU member states hosted by Luxembourg and talked about the need to draft a strategy regarding the relations between the EU and Russia. According to a Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE) communiqué, minister Aurescu highlighted the importance of thorough talks on these relations in the context of the recent developments, including the poisoning of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny with Novichok. He made this statement against the backdrop of the publication of the report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons which confirms Navalny’s poisoning with Noviciok. Under the circumstances the Romanian FM said further sanctions should be rapidly adopted against those involved in the attempted murder. In another development, minister Bogdan Aurescu expressed Romania’s concern with the escalation of the armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. He underlined that the conflict recrudescence points to a potential for instability in the Black Sea region. As regards Belarus, the Romanian diplomat expressed concern with the continuous deterioration of the domestic situation in that country in the context in which the authorities have not shown any interest in starting a dialogue with the population and civil society to overcome the crisis. Romania has decided to recall its ambassador from Minsk, Viorel Mosanu, for consultations.
Tennis – The Romanian tennis player Simona Halep maintains 2nd position in the WTA classification made public on Monday. Halep has almost 1,500 points less than the Australian Ashleigh Barty. On 3rd position in the WTA ranking is the Japanese Naomi Osaka. Romania has another 4 players in the top 100: Patricia Ţig climbed two places being ranked 57th, Irina Begu is on 76th position, Sorana Cîrstea, down 4 positions, is ranked 88th and Ana Bogdan on 92nd position. Irina Bara reached the 116th position, the best in her career. In the doubles, Raluca Olaru dropped one place being ranked 41st and Monica Niculescu went up 2 places on 53rd position. Andreea Mitu is ranked 91st.
Vilnius – The main opposition party in Lithuania, the center-right Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats has won the first round of Sunday’s elections, seen as a vote of confidence to the way in which the PM Saulius Skvernelis is managing the COVID-19 pandemic, international news agencies report. The Homeland Union got almost 25% of the votes while the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, an agrarian group that leads the governing coalition, got more than 17% of the votes. At least 4 parties are to enter Parliament. The second round of voting is scheduled for October 25.
Local elections – Three communes from Romania hosted a second round of voting on Sunday to elect their mayors, as, on September 27, in the first round, the 1st and 2nd ranked candidates got an equal number of votes. The turnout was over 50% in all three communes. In the town of Moldova Noua (southwest), the second round of voting was no longer held as the decision to hold new elections was suspended by the court. The decision had been made by the Central Electoral Bureau that invalidated the candidacy of the one who had got the biggest number of votes. We recall that in late September the Social Democrat Gabriela Firea lost the Bucharest mayoral seat to the independent Nicusor Dan supported by the ruling Liberal Party and the Save Romania Union. (tr. L. Simion)