The number of SARS CoV-2 cases on the rise in Romania
On Wednesday, Romania registered over 100 new cases of COVID-19, for the first time in two months with an average of 40 cases a day on the average. The number of infections is slightly on the rise, according to the coordinator of the national vaccination campaign, Valeriu Gheorghita. He said that last week there were reports of almost 40% more infections as opposed to last week. In Romania, the number of cases started going up starting on July 12. This rising trend is seen in 20 European countries, especially among youth. According to data from the European prognosis platform, it is estimated that Romania will have 200 cases per day by the end of the month. At the same time, experts estimate a rise in cases of infection with the new Delta strand, but that they could not establish when the 4th wave of the pandemic, affecting several European countries already, would reach Romania. As to a third shot of the vaccine, considered necessary by some experts in the case of people with decreased immunity, Minister of Health Ioana Mihaila said that she was awaiting the recommendations of European institutions, but said that complete vaccination for COVID-19 is protection against severe cases, and is a safeguard against deadly disease.
Romanian soldiers wrap up their mission in Afghanistan
On Wednesday, President Klaus Iohannis attended the ceremony marking the withdrawal of Romanian troops in Afghanistan. The head of state decorated the flags of units in the theaters of operations, and lauded in his speech the sacrifice made by Romanian servicemen and their families. The president said that the mission of Romanian armed forces in Afghanistan stands in history as the longest and most complex military operation abroad past WWII. Over 32.000 military of all stripes took part in this mission. The first battalion, detached top that front in June 2002, was the 26th Infantry Battalion, the Red Scorpions. Over 200 Romanian soldiers were wounded, and 27 lost their lives in Afghanistan. At the end of mission, 615 soldiers, alongside 135 tons of materiel, were repatriated. The cost of the Romanian participation in this conflict was over 3 billion lei.
EU report on the rule of law
The report on the rule of law in EU member countries was published on Tuesday by the EC. For Romania, the conclusions reference mostly the reforms in the justice system. Special mention was made to attempts to reform legislative amendments between 2017 and 2019 with regard to the set up of the Special Section for Investigating Crime in the Justice System, as well as to the conditions of hiring and retiring of magistrates, or appointing high ranking prosecutors. The initiative of dismantling the Special Section has to comply with European law, according to the EC, referring to a ruling by the Court of Justice. The report also references a ruling by the Constitutional Court, which says that judges have to refer first to the Constitution, which takes precedence over European law. It also indicates that the principle of community law is under doubt, which may present a substantial hurdle for courts.
Financial support for counties affected by flooding
The executive in Bucharest approved this week earmarking almost 150 million lei for 17 counties in Romania affected by flooding and landslides in the first half of the year. The executive order allocated money for 243 localities in 17 counties affected by extreme weather up until July 15. Minister of Development Cseke Attila said that these funds would be used for fixing county roads and bridges. He also said that the funds would be allocated for recovery of the localities, starting on July 16, by another executive order. Two people have died, and 80 were evacuated, with almost 200 homes flooded, with a total of 80 localities in 20 counties affected. Alba, a county in the center of the country, was the worst affected.
Emergency executive order for protection against bears
The Romanian government has issued on Wednesday an emergency executive order for immediate intervention to prevent and combat bear attacks on people and their property. In cases where bears attack people, they are to be tranquilized and removed, but in extreme cases they can be shot. The document specifies that people can signal a danger of attack by calling the single emergency number 112. The executive order also doles out fines for people who feed bears.
Romania at the Tokyo Olympic Games
101 Romanian athletes, 46 female and 55 males, are attending the Tokyo Olympic Games, running from July 22 to August 8. The games were initially scheduled for last summer, but were postponed because of the pandemic, the same reason for which they are being run without an audience. The soccer tournament started on Thursday, one day before the opening festivities. The Romanian Under-23 football team won against Honduras 1-0 in Kashima, in Group B of the games.