November 12, 2020 UPDATE

november 12, 2020 update A look at some of the main stories in Romania today.

Coronavirus Romania. New negative records were reported in Romania on Thursday, as the number of new daily cases hit 10,142 and that of people receiving intensive care treatment 1,152. 121 new deaths were also reported. The highest infection rate was recorded in Sibiu county, 7.4, followed by Cluj and Timis. In half of the country, the infection rate has passed 3 per 1,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days. Several cities have asked to be placed in lockdown and are waiting for a decision from the central authorities. President Klaus Iohannis called on prefects to be firm in the application of the restrictions required to contain the spread of the pandemic. He explained that the measures taken so far were carefully considered, are the right ones and have yielded results, but they are not enough. Iohannis had a videoconference with the prefects to discuss the management of the pandemic, with prime minister Ludovic Orban and other government members also taking part.

Coronavirus world. The global number of coronavirus infections stands at 52.5 million, while 1.3 million people have died to the pandemic. The United States remains the worst hit country in the world, although the situation in Europe has taken a turn for the worse. German chancellor Angela Merkel spoke of a second wave of the pandemic, far worse than the first, while Italy is considering the introduction of a wider lockdown, as the situation in its hospitals has become critical. Several other European countries have pinned their hopes on mass immunisation. On Wednesday, the European Commission signed a contract with the American pharmaceutical company Pfizer for the purchase of 300 million anti-Covid vaccine shots. Health officials insist, however, that the first vaccines will be administered no sooner than the first quarter of 2021. The Commission has also advanced a number of proposals to create a European Health Union.

Education. Despite the measures to reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on education, moving to remote learning risks worsening the already high inequalities existing in Romania, the European Commission warned in a report published on Thursday. The report says that the socio-economic context significantly affects the performance of pupils and teachers, limiting the role education can play in efforts to guarantee equal chances. It is necessary to improve the digital skills of teachers and pupils and students and ensure a better digital endowment of schools, the Commission has underlined, adding that the digital infrastructure of schools is under-developed, especially in the rural areas. Romania has one of the lowest budgets for education in the European Union, the Commission report also notes.

Protest. Romanian prime minister Ludovic Orban on Thursday met the representatives of the Solidaritatea Sanitara federation to receive the demands of healthcare workers. He told them the government is committed to finding solutions and thanked the medical staff for their efforts in the management of the health crisis. The federation on Thursday staged a new protest in Bucharest demanding measures to protect the rights of healthcare workers so as to lead to a significant drop in the number of cases and deaths caused by Covid-19. They also request survivor pensions for the children of those who died to work-related hazards, a number of bonuses and a salary increase.

LGBTIQ. The European Commission on Thursday presented the first ever EU strategy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, non-binary, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) equality, as announced by Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in her 2020 State of the Union Address. The strategy addresses the inequalities and challenges affecting LGBTIQ people and proposes to include hate crime on the list of EU crimes, including homophonic hate speech and hate crime, the Commission said in a statement. "Everyone of us should feel free to be who they are - without fear and persecution. This is what Europe is about and this is what we stand for", said the Commission vice-president for values and transparency. (CM)
Publicat: 2020-11-12 20:00:00
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