coronavirus pandemic continues to make victims in Romania. A third military
ordinance has been issued
The number of those
infected by the new coronavirus and the death toll is on the rise in Romania.
Just like in other countries the most affected seemed to be people over 65
years old, with lower immunity and related health issues. On Wednesday, the
authorities imposed harsher restrictions, which are comprised in the third
military ordinance issued since the state of emergency was declared last week.
Under the document a curfew was imposed between 6 and 22 hours, which had
initially been valid only at night. Exceptions are applied to people who travel
to their workplaces, to shopping or get medical assistance.
Also exempted from
the rule are people offering assistance to children, the elderly or to the
disabled. Short trips around the households or the blocks are also allowed.
Another exception applies to blood donors and volunteers involved in various
charity activities. Farmers involved in various agricultural activities are
also exempted from the rules. The elderly are allowed to travel outside their
homes between 11 and 13 hours strictly for shopping, medical assistance,
physical activities or to walk their pets. People are requested to produce a
work ID, a proof of employment issued by the employer or a self-issued
affidavit previously filled in by the owner.
All the people entering Romania
are either placed on home isolation or quarantined. Starting March 25th,
all flights to France or Germany as well as domestic flights are suspended for
14 days. Dental surgery centers have suspended their activity with the
exception of emergency situations. Shops, with the exception of food chains,
pharmacies and dry cleaners have been closed down. Religious services are being
held without parishioners and are broadcast online. Participation in baptisms,
wedding and burial ceremonies is limited to 8 people. The country's president
Klaus Iohannis has called on citizens, especially on pensioners, to strictly
comply with the rules issued by the authorities in order to gain precious time
that can be used by the medical personnel to treat the patients. The Romanian
official has given assurances the authorities are doing everything in their
power to overcome the crisis.
The Romania Government and the Central
Bank have adopted a new economic and financial package of measures to overcome
the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis, a growing number has been reported, of employment contracts that have been suspended. The Government has ruled that
the employees whose employment contract has been temporarily suspended should
receive 75% of their wages from the unemployment insurance fund, for the entire
duration of the emergency period. Official figures have revealed that in late
February, Romania's number of active employees stood at 5.6 million.
Government has also announced additional aid programmes would also be
implemented. Therefore, an ordinance has been passed whereby natural persons
but also the legal entities who have pending bank installments can postpone
them until December 31st 2020, if their incomes have been directly
or indirectly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time of crisis, the
Central Bank has in turn come up with a package of measures aimed at helping
markets function properly. In an emergency monetary policy meeting, the Central
Bank has decided the key interest rate should stand at 2%, down from 2.5%.
package of measures the Central Bank has passed also includes the provision of
liquidities to credit institutions through reversible operations with state
bonds with a view to securing the fluent functioning of the money market.
Another decision targets the purchase of the state bonds in the national
currency, the Leu, on the secondary market in order to boost the structural
liquidity of the banking system. The decision will provide its contribution to
the proper financing of the real economy and the public sector.
The Romanian Healthcare Minister
Victor Costache has submitted his resignation
new Healthcare Minister has been appointed in Romania. Former State Secretary
Nelu Tataru this past Thursday was sworn in. Tataru was appointed since his
predecessor, Victor Costache has resigned. Just like in other European countries,
the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many problems in Romania. For the time being,
at least, there is shortage of protection gear in Romanian hospitals, while the
existing ones are not efficient. The frontline medical staff has said they put
their lives in danger every day. A telling case, to that end, is that of the
Suceava County Hospital (in the North-east). Also, of the 100 medical staff who
got infected countrywide, more than 80 are from Suceava, physicians, trained
nurses and orderlies. The medical unit has been closed down for disinfection,
the manager has been sacked and a criminal investigation has been opened. The
list of contaminated medical units also includes hospitals in Bucharest,
Galati, in the east, or Deva, in the west.
The Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo
have been postponed
2020 edition of the world's greatest sporting event, the Summer Olympic Games, to
be held in Japan, has been postponed for next year, because of the COVID-19
pandemic. The decision is a historic one, as never before, in times of peace,
have the Olympic Games been cancelled or postponed.