The COVID situation in Romania
Romania has to be prepared to face a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the safest way to do that is to vaccinate, according to President Klaus Iohannis. On the occasion of the National Ambulance Day, the head of state decorated 45 physicians and nurses. He emphasized the fact that, although the number of infections is low right now, the pandemic wasn't over. Undersecretary with the Health Ministry Andrei Baciu told Radio Romania that the fourth wave of the pandemic will reach Romania, most likely in September, and that the worst affected would be unvaccinated people. The head of the national jab campaign, physician Valeriu Gheorghita, said that almost 90% of the people diagnosed with the virus have not had the vaccine. He added that over 91% of deaths occurred in people who have not had even the first dose. Right now, the rate of vaccine coverage nationally is about 30%. Romania is close to the threshold of 5 million vaccinated with at least one dose.
New relaxations of restrictions in Romania from August 1
The government in Bucharest issued new relaxation measures starting on August 1 for restrictions related to the pandemic. The PM, Florin Citu, said that art and culture, as well as entertainment events, may take place outdoors with an audience of 75,000 people at the most, in localities with a low incidence of infections, below 2 to a thousand. Still in place is the obligation for people attending sports, arts, or private events to be vaccinated, tested, or cured of the disease. At the same time, bars, clubs, discos, and gambling halls may function at full capacity between 5 AM and 2 PM. Masks are still compulsory in enclosed spaces. At the same time, the National Committee for Emergency Situations has decided that RT-PCR testing for children below 6 is no longer necessary when entering Romania and headed for low risk areas. Testing is still mandated for children between 6 and 16, with the PCR test done 72 hours before entry at the most.
Rosia Montana on the UNESCO World Heritage list
The Rosia Montana site, in western Romania, which is an ensemble of Roman galleries from the second century CE, this week was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The unanimous decision was taken by the World Heritage Committee in its expanded 44th meeting in Fouzhou, China, taking place between July 16 and 31. UNESCO experts stated that they need to make another visit to Romania, in order to see how the cultural heritage of the area may be best protected. The listing took place on the very day that Romania celebrated 65 years since it had joined UNESCO. The authorities in Bucharest saluted the decision. President Klaus Iohannis believes that the area has to become a model of sustainable development, and Deputy PM Dan Barna said that its inclusion on the UNESCO list is a huge opportunity for conservation. The minister for the environment, Tanczos Barna, emphasized the opportunity to develop tourism to the Rosia Montana area, which has long been fought over by gold mining companies and environmentalists. This listing will place many more hurdles in the way of the Canadian company that planned to build here the biggest surface gold mine in Europe, and which is now claiming damages worth millions of dollars from the Romanian state.
Scorching heat, tempests, and damage
Romania is under orange and yellow alerts for tempests, hail, or scorching heat with high heat indexes. Over the last few days, temperatures regularly reached 38 to 40 degrees Celsius. Nights are tropical, as minimums never went below 20 degrees. Due to the intense heat, restrictions have been introduced for traffic on roads and railroads. At the same time, violent storms rocked several localities, including the capital city. High winds have toppled trees over electrical lines or railroads. Some trains had very long delays, with others getting canceled outright. Two in particular had record delays, both starting on the Black Sea shore, one going to Timisoara, in the southwest, and the other to Arad, in the west. The first had 27 hours delay, the other 28 hours. Hundreds of people, including dozens of children, were stuck in the trains without food or water.
Medals in the OG
In the first week of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Romanian athletes won four medals, one gold, and three silver. On Wednesday in rowing, Ancuta Bodnar and Simona Radis won the lightweight double-scull event. The Romanians set a new Olympic record, 3 seconds better than the previous record, set in London in 2012 by the British team. Also on Wednesday, the Romanian four crew, made up of Mihăiţă Vasile Ţigănescu, Mugurel Semciuc, Ştefan Constantin Berariu and Cosmin Pascari, won silver. On Thursday, it was the men's double's turn to climb the podium. Ciprian Tudosaq and Marius Cozmiuc won silver medals. Previously, the first medal for Romania in the Tokyo OG had been won in the individual saber event in fencing. Ana-Maria Popescu won the silver, climbing the podium for the third time in her career.