COVID-19 RO - 1,527 new SARS-CoV-2 infections were reported in the last 24 hours in Romania, the Strategic Communication Group announced on Friday. 48 people died during this interval, taking the death toll to 4,360. Overall, 110,217 cases of COVID-19 have been reported at national level since the start of the pandemic. 88,235 patients have recovered and 447 people are in intensive care. 6,599 Romanian citizens have tested positive for COVID-19 abroad. 126 of them have died. Most of these cases were reported in Germany, Italy and Spain.
PANDEMIC - The global number of infections has exceeded 30 million, with an alarming contamination rate reported in Europe. Unlike other European states, which are now taking measures at regional level, on Friday Israel reintroduced nation-wide restrictions to prevent the spread of the Covid - 19 pandemic. Under an Israeli Government decision, only food and drug stores and other key services will remain operational. People are allowed to move within 1 km of their homes. The Police has set up roadblocks all over the country, as traffic remains limited to emergencies only.
COLECTIV - As of Friday, the Bucharest Court of Appeal is trying the appeal in the Colectiv case, regarding the fire on September 30th, 2015, in a nightclub in Bucharest, in which 64 people died. The court of first instance gave the mayor and employees of the Bucharest District 4 City Hall, the club owners, two firefighters, pyrotechnical experts and representatives of a fireworks company prison sentences of up to 13 years. The Bucharest Tribunal's rulings were appealed by both the defendants and prosecutors. In its motivation, the Tribunal claims the tragedy at the Colectiv nightclub is "the result of a chain of crimes and the attitude of the defendants does not reside in their lack of judicial education, but in greed, irresponsibility and ignorance towards the law".
RESOLUTION - The European Parliament has passed a resolution whereby it no longer recognizes Alexander Lukashenko as President of Belarus. Voted by a landslide majority, the resolution does not recognize the presidential election of August 9, won by Lukashenko with 80% of the votes. Parliament believes the election was rigged, and that international standards in the matter were breached. In addition, MEPs have called for the introduction of sanctions against Belarus. Member States of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have assigned a team of independent experts to investigate possible human rights violations and election fraud in Belarus. In power for the last 26 years, Lukashenko is often labeled as Europe's last dictator.
TENNIS - The Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, world number 2, defeated, on Friday, score 7-5, 6-4, Dayana Yastremska from Ukraine (29 WTA), in the eighth finals of the WTA tournament in Rome. Next Halep will play against the Kazakh Yulia Putinteva (30 WTA). Simona played only once against her at this year's Australian Open. It was a clear victory for the Romanian, in the eighth finals. Also in the quarterfinals, on Friday, in Rome, in the doubles, the pair formed by the Romanian Raluca Olaru and Anna-Lena Friedsam (Germany) defeated the pair Magda Linette (Poland) - Bernarda Pera (United States), score 5-7, 7 -6, 10-8 and qualified for the semifinals. The competition in the Italian capital takes place without spectators, and competitors must follow strict rules to prevent infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The prizes are worth a total of almost 1.7 million euros.
FOOTBALL - Romanian Cup title holders FCSB on Thursday qualified for the Europa League third preliminary round after defeating FK TSC Backa Topola 5-4 at the end of the penalty shootout. The score was 6-all at the end of regular time, which marked a new record for a European inter-club match. Struggling to assemble a first team lineup after multiple COVID-19 cases were reported at the club, FCSB was rated second-favorite to win. In the third round, FCSB will play Slovan Liberec of the Czech Republic at home. If it manages to eliminate Liberec, FCSB will play against the winner of the match between APOEL of Cyprus and Zrinjski of Bosnia - Herzegovina. Also on Thursday, FC Botosani was eliminated after losing nil-1 to KF Skhendija of North Macedonia at home. Eliminated from the Champions League preliminary rounds, Romania's champions CFR Cluj will play Djurgaarden of Sweden in the third preliminary round of Europa League. If they win, they will taken on the winner of the match pitting Kups Kuopio of Finland against the Lithuanians from Suduva. All the round's matches are scheduled for next week and consist of only one leg.