10 April, 2020

10 april, 2020 Peak of 10,000-12,000 coronavirus cases is expected in Romania, says country’s health minister./ Government issues new military decree./ EU finance ministers agree on emergency rescue package.

Romania coronavirus. 265 new coronavirus cases were reported in Romania today, with the total number nearing 5,500. 257 people have died and 729 have recovered. Health minister Nelu Tataru earlier told a TV station that the authorities are expecting a peak of between 10,000 and 12,000 coronavirus cases in Romania, but that the figure may change depending on developments in the next two weeks, which he says are going to be "difficult". Among the Romanians living abroad, 651 infection cases have been reported, of which 400 in Italy alone, and 37 deaths.

World. Global coronavirus cases pass 1.6 million, while fatalities go up to around 96,000. In the US, where the outbreak is spreading at the fastest pace, 19 drugs and treatments for Covid-19 are currently under trial, while 26 others are about to go on trial, president Donald Trump told a press conference. More than 1,700 fatalities were reported in the US in the last 24 hours, with the total death toll passing 16,000, the second largest in the world after Italy. Europe is the worst hit continent so far, particularly Spain, Italy, France, Germany and the UK. The Spanish Parliament on Thursday night approved the extension of the state of emergency until 26th April. In the UK, prime minister Boris Johnson has left the intensive care unit.

Decree. A new military decree has been issued in Romania, where a state of emergency is in place, banning the export of a number of products such as wheat, barley, oats, corn, wheat flour, sunflower oil, sugar and bakery products. The decree also allows produce markets to stay open for the duration of the state of emergency, given the upcoming Catholic Easter this weekend and the Orthodox Easter next weekend. In the run-up to the Easter holidays, shops are also allowed to extend their opening hours. Interior minister Marcel Vela, who presented the new decree, used the opportunity to again call on the population to respect social distancing guidelines and on the Romanians living abroad not to travel to Romania for the Easter holidays.

Rescue package. EU finance ministers have agreed on an emergency rescue package for the member states worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Over 500 billion euros are made available to help workers, businesses and governments. The agreement was reached after talks in Brussels, which press agencies say were made difficult by the divisions between the northern nations, especially the Dutch, and the countries in the south of Europe, which were worst hit by the outbreak and whose economies are more fragile. Italy and Spain have called for access to funds that they can spend as they see fit, while the Dutch insisted on strict conditions. A compromise was reached in the end, with the emergency package also making available a consolidated credit line of 240 billion euros, with countries being able to borrow up to 2% of their GDPs.

Workers. Romanian prime minister Ludovic Orban told the public TV station that between 80,000 and 90,000 Romanian nationals may travel abroad for work in the coming period. He explained these are employment contracts agreed between Romanian citizens and foreign companies, such as from Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and the Netherlands, especially in the farming sector. Orban criticised, however, the manager of the Cluj Napoca airport, in the north-west of the country, who did not inform the authorities about the departure of 2,000 seasonal workers to Germany on Thursday, which led to chaos on the airport and infringement of coronavirus restrictions. Flights due to leave today from Iasi, in the east of the country, and supposed to take 400 Romanian workers to Germany, have been cancelled. The measure was taken in keeping with a military decree banning assemblies in public spaces. The airport management had previously asked the security forces to help enforce social distancing rules to prevent a situation like that in Cluj.

Inflation. The annual inflation rate in Romania stayed at 3% in March, while the prices of food products grew by 5.11%, that of services by 3.8% and that of non-food products by 1.39%, according to a report by the National Institute for Statistics. The National Bank forecasts an inflation rate of 3% for the whole year. (Tr.: CM)

Publicat: 2020-04-10 13:55:00
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