November 13, 2020 UPDATE

november 13, 2020 update A roundup of domestic and international news

COVID-19 IN ROMANIA - The government has decided to extend the state of alert by a further thirty days as of Saturday. The head of the department for emergency situations Raed Arafat said the sanitary measures introduced earlier remain in place and will also apply to the parliamentary elections due on December 6. He said the health and foreign ministries will issue a joint decree referring specifically to the voting stations abroad.  Arafat also said the government was planning to temporarily allow medical school graduates and residents to practice medicine so that they can work, under supervision, on wards treating coronavirus patients. More than 343,700 coronavirus infections have been recorded so far in Romania. Almost 9,500 new cases were reported on Friday. 1,149 people are in intensive care. 174 new deaths were recorded, taking the death toll to 8,694.

COVID-19 IN THE WORLD - Over 53.3 million people have been infected with coronavirus globally and more than 1.3 million have died, according to the latest update. In many European countries, the situation remains critical and governments are taking additional measures. A nigh-time curfew came into effect on Friday in Greece and Portugal has expanded restrictions to more areas. Slovenia has banned almost all public gatherings, and Hungary is in lockdown for at least a month. In Italy, three regions in the north are seeing new restrictions beginning today. France has seen a 16% drop in new cases in the last 7 days, but the situation is sensitive in hospitals, where the second wave is expected to peak next week. In turn, health authorities in Belgium expect 10 to 20% of the population to develop SARS-CoV-2 antibodies after the second wave of the pandemic, a percentage they say will help slow down the spread of the virus, but which would make impossible attaining herd immunity in the absence of a vaccine.

LIST - The National Committee for Emergency Situations has updated the list of countries with a high epidemiological risk. The amber list countries include Armenia, Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Jordan, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Portugal and Hungary. Arrivals from these countries are requested to isolate for 14 days. Travellers to Spain from high-risk regions or countries will be obliged to produce a negative result to a Covid test, beginning on November 23. The Romanian foreign ministry is emphasizing that the test must be taken no longer than 72 hours prior to entering Spanish territory and that the document must be written in Spanish or English. The ministry also recalls that all persons travelling to Spain must fill in a form about their state of health before travelling.

MOLDOVA - In the Republic of Moldova, the election campaign for the second round of presidential elections on Sunday came to a close on Friday. In the first round of the election, former pro-European PM Maia Sandu got over 36% of the votes, and the incumbent pro-Russian Socialist president, Igor Dodon, under 33%. The candidates favoring the reunification with Romania as well as  the pro-European candidates, who left the presidential race in the first round, made public their unconditional support for Maia Sandu in the second round. The third-placed candidate, the pro-Russian populist Renato Usatyi, has urged his voters, some 17% of those who voted in the first round, to vote for the former prime minister. On Tuesday, Romania's President, Klaus Iohannis expressed joy at the news of the vote for the West-leaning candidate and deemed it a vote in favor of the irreversible democratic evolution of the Republic of Moldova, a country that has permanently and unequivocally been supported by Romania.

TERRORISM - The 27 EU Interior Ministers have called for strengthening the security of the Schengen visa-free travel area and of the EU's external borders in a joint statement adopted on Friday following the latest terror attacks in France and Austria. EU Ministers expressed their willingness to finalize by the end of this year the current negotiations over a European legislation on deleting online terrorist content within 1 hour. Five years after the Jihadist attacks of November 13, 2015, the Ministers paid homage to the 130 people killed in Paris and Saint-Denis and harshly condemned the latest attacks in France and Austria.

UK VISAS - EU citizens will be able to travel to the UK visa-free after January 1, 2021 for a period of 6 months, according to the new immigration system made public by the British government.  EU citizens can travel to the United Kingdom for several times during that time span, but they are not allowed to live in the UK, under the multiple entry and extended visa mechanism, nor are they allowed to work or access public funds. Those willing to work, live or study in the UK must request a visa. This visa will be granted based on a system of points, after the applicants submit a visa request, on the website of the British government. Points are granted in keeping with a set of requirements that applicants should meet. 

STATISTICS - The GDP dropped by 4.4% in the Eurozone and by 4.3% in the European Union in the third quarter of 2020 compared with the same period last year. Spain saw the biggest drop, at 8.7%, while Romania recorded a 6% drop, according to a report by the EU statistical office Eurostat. The data referring to Romania were supported by the country's National Institute for Statistics, which published a report saying the economy shrank by 6% in the third quarter of the year compared with the same period last year, but it grew by 5.6% compared with the previous quarter.

(Translated by C. Mateescu & V. Palcu)
Publicat: 2020-11-13 19:47:00
Vizualizari: 320