December 25, 2021 UPDATE

december 25, 2021 update Click here for a roundup of domestic and international news

CHRISTMAS The Western rite Orthodox believers, the Greek Catholics and Catholics from the world over, including from Romania, a country with an Orthodox majority, on Saturday celebrated the first day of Christmas. "The Christmas holiday invites us to be generous, as the magi in the time of Christ, to show love and compassion to all around us and offer gifts not only to children but also to the elderly, the sick, the lonely and sad', Daniel, the patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church said. In turn, president Klaus Iohannis also conveyed a Chrismas message, in which he referred to the spirit of this holiday at the end of another difficult year. The head of the Romanian state wished the Romanians to enjoy this holiday, underlining that together we can overcome this difficult period. Christmas is marked through special religious sermons in churches and monasteries across the country but also through beautiful traditions and rich family dinners. Old ritualists, who are a majority in Russia, Ukraine, Serbia and Georgia are celebrating Christmas on January 7th.


COVID-19 The fifth wave of the pandemic, which is most severe as compared to the fourth wave is expected to arrive in Romania in less than three weeks, the country's Interior Minister Lucian Bode has announced. The spread of the Omicron variant will be accelerated by the Romanian workers from abroad, who are to arrive in large numbers for the winter holidays. The number of the new infections is still low in Romania with roughly 600 new cases announced on Saturday and 29 related fatalities. Since the beginning of the pandemic, almost 1.8 million Covid infections have been reported in Romania and 58 thousand related fatalities. Shortly after the authorization in the USA of the anti-Covid drug, Paxlovid, Romania's health minister, Alexandru Rafila is making moves to import the new drug as soon as possible. Rafila has already had a series of meetings with representatives of Pfizer, the company that produces the vaccine. According to the latest surveys, the drug reduces by almost 90% the risk of hospitalization and death. The US has also authorized an anti-viral pill produced by Merck.


OMICRON Airline carriers in the USA have been severely affected by the Covid-19 infections driven by the Omicron variant, which created greater uncertainty among Christmas holiday travelers. According to Flightaware.com a quarter out of the over 4 thousand flights cancelled globally is in the United States alone. The situation became possible due to the flight crews who tested positive and were forced to go into isolation in order to contain the pandemic. The USA, like other countries, has seen a surge in the Covid-19 infections and although the Omicron variant is less severe than Delta, scientists are worried by the growing number of infections. Government data in Britain showed a record tally of more than 122 thousand Covid infections nationwide on Friday, marking a third day in which the number of new cases has surpassed 100 thousand. The government headed by Boris Johnson preferred to postpone the tightening of restrictions as Omicron poses lower risks than the Delta variant. France has also exceeded the threshold of 94 thousand new Covid infections, a record high since the beginning of the pandemic. Outdoor mask mandates have again come into effect in Greece, Spain and Italy.


TROOPS Over 10 thousand Russian servicemen that had been deployed close to the Ukrainian border returned to their barracks, the Interfax news agency announced, quoting sources of the Russian army. They participated in maneuvers held close to Ukraine and also in Crimea, a region Russia annexed in 2014. The latest Russian military buildup at the borders with Ukraine fuelled concern among Ukraine's and western leaders that Moscow had planned an attack. Russia denied all allegations adding that it needs pledges from the West, including from NATO that the alliance will not expand towards its borders.

 (bill)



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Publicat: 2021-12-25 18:49:00
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