COVID-19 RO. 5,753 new cases of infection with the new coronavirus were reported on Saturday in Romania, following 36,181 tests processed at national level, according to data published by the Strategic Communication Group. Since the beginning of the pandemic 241,339 people have been infected in Romania. A new maximum has been reached in intensive care where 923 patients are now hospitalized. In the last 24 hours, 101 people died, and the total number of deaths due to COVID 19 is close to 7,000. Most new cases were registered in Bucharest: 594. The infection index exceeded four cases per thousand inhabitants in 4 counties: Cluj, Alba, Salaj and Timis. The Minister of Health, Nelu Tătaru, believes that if the hygiene rules and the restrictions imposed by the pandemic are observed, Romania could reach a plateau in approximately 28 days.
PANDEMIC. More than 45 million cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed at global level and almost 1.2 million deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine. The United States reports more than 9 million infections and 229,000 deaths, followed by India with more than 8 million cases and 121,000 deaths. The epicenter of the pandemic, however, is Europe at the moment. At least 14 European countries have reached a record number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations this week. Poland has today reported a daily record of more than 21,000 cases. Germany has registered 19,059 new cases of coronavirus infection. In the face of the second wave, more and more countries are tightening restrictions and even imposing quarantines. The latest case is Belgium, where non-essential activities have been suspended as of Monday and telework has become mandatory for companies where this is possible. Similar decisions have already been taken by Ireland and France, while other countries have imposed local or regional quarantines. Stricter measures will be applied in Iceland from Saturday. Sports events and shows are prohibited, and swimming pools, bars and nightclubs are closed. Today, Slovakia has started a population-wide COVID-19 testing operation, which will be carried out in two stages by means of rapid antigen tests, the results of which are ready in less than 15 minutes.
EC. The European Commission calls on Romania to fully transpose into national law the Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora, which contributes to the protection of biodiversity in the EU. According to a EC communiqu, Bucharest has two months to remedy the situation. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion. Romanian legislation does not have, among other things, clear provisions regarding natural habitats. In line with the European Green Pact and the Biodiversity Strategy, it is essential that the Union halts the loss of biodiversity by improving and restoring ecosystems, the European Commission explains on its website.
RAILWAY. As of 31 October, the European railway sector will benefit from new harmonized procedures to reduce costs and administrative burdens aimed at increasing the efficiency and competitiveness of European railways. According to a statement from the EC representation in Romania, the new rules will generate more innovation in this sector, facilitating the operation of railway companies and operators or the sale of new technologies in several European countries. These rules complement the Fourth Railway Package, a series of measures aimed at increasing the efficiency and competitiveness of European railways. In addition, the package stipulates that the European Union Agency for Railways will play a more important role, becoming today responsible for vehicle licensing, safety certification and approvals for land projects related to the European rail traffic management system in all Member States.
EARTHQUAKE. Rescue teams in the Turkish city of Izmir continue to search for survivors after the powerful earthquake that hit the Aegean Sea, while the death toll rose to 27 and the number of injured exceeded 800. The situation on the island of Samos is extremely difficult too, said a Greek official after the 6.7 magnitude earthquake that killed two, injured at least seven and caused extensive damage on the island. The earthquake shook western Turkey on Friday and caused significant damage. Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu sent a message of solidarity to Turkey and Greece on Friday. The Romanian Foreign Ministry has announced that, so far, the Turkish and Greek authorities have not notified Romania's diplomatic or consular missions in the two states, regarding the existence of any Romanian citizens affected by Friday's earthquake.
SONORO. SoNoRo International Chamber Music Festival celebrates 15 years with a series of concerts broadcast live from concert halls. Thus, starting today and until December 9, musical events will be broadcast from concert halls in Brașov, Busteni, Sibiu and Bucharest. According to the organizers, those interested can access these concerts on the online platform called festival.sonoro.ro live section, but also on Facebook, on the pages of the Romanian Cultural Institute or Radio Romania Music. (M. Ignatescu)