Situation of COVID-19 cases in Romania

  • Romania reports over 8,600 new cases: 8,651 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the past 24 hours in Romania, a new record high since the start of the pandemic. Of the total new cases 692 are cases that could not be attributed to any county due to ongoing software updates in the Health Ministry’s data collection app. 146 Romanians infected with the novel coronavirus have died in the past 24 hours, while 1,001 patients infected with COVID-19 are admitted in intensive care units. To date, 3,341,867 tests have been processed at national level. Of these, 35,964 were performed in the last 24 hours. An infection rate higher than 3 per 1,000 inhabitants was recorded in Bucharest (4.24), and the counties Alba (4.62), Arad (3.64), Bihor (4.37), Cluj (5.04), Mureș (3.58), Sălaj (5.5), Sibiu (4.4), Timiș (5.04), Dolj (3.05), and as of today Maramures (3.15). Counties close to exceeding this ceiling are: Brasov (2.98), Covasna (2.73) and Harghita (2.77). Most new cases were registered in Bucharest (1,514), Timis (545), Iasi (363), Ilfov (336), Cluj (293), Bihor (262), Salaj and Prahova (261 each).
  • INSP weekly coronavirus report: Bucharest City plus four counties account for 28.5pc of total deaths: Bucharest city and the counties of Sibiu, Prahova, Alba and Arad account for 28.5 percent of Romania’s total coronavirus deaths reported in the week October 26 – November 1, the National Public Health Institute (INSP) informs, according to AGERPRES. Bucharest and the counties of Cluj, Timisoara, Iasi and Bihor account for 33.2 percent of the total infection cases in the reporting week. Medical staff represented one in 40 infection cases since the beginning of the pandemic to date.

 

Political and regulatory

 

  • First COVID-19 vaccines to arrive in Romania in Q1 2021, president says: The Romanian authorities expect the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines to arrive in Romania in the first quarter of 2021, president Klaus Iohannis said. According to him, Romania is set to receive more than 10 million doses of vaccine from those contracted by the European Commission. The healthcare workers and people from high-risk groups will be the first to get the vaccine once it arrives in Romania. Vaccination of the entire population will start in the spring, at the earliest, Iohannis also said. Romania must get ready for the moment the COVID-19 vaccine arrives in the country and draw up an effective action plan for the entire health system, “from the family doctor to the hospital level.” The authorities have to establish the vaccination centers and the family doctors must be well trained. At the same time, the head of state announced that the general opinion of the experts is that the December general election should  not be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In related news, Alexandru Rafila, Romania’s representative at the World Health Organization and a candidate of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) at the upcoming general elections, said that, most likely, five million Romanians would receive the COVID-19 vaccine by next summer, News.ro reported. In his opinion, Romania has to start organizing the vaccination campaign early. Meanwhile asked, on Wednesday, in Sibiu, about the vaccination plan, Health Minister Nelu Tătaru answered that the strategy is in the works. Asked if the strategy included the Army, Tătaru said: “The Army, DSU, the county hospitals, and the family doctors will be invited.” Asked at the same  press conference in Sibiu if Romania will go into lockdown after the parliamentary elections, Nelu Tataru said that we are still at a time when the situation can be managed.
  • COPAC calls on the authorities for a lifelong access to vaccination: The Organization of Patients with Chronic Conditions (COPAC) NGO too stressed for the need of a vaccination strategy, which would also look after the patients it represents, i.e. vaccines for life that can prolong the life of such patients.
  • Tataru says that the current criteria for quarantine is six infections per thousand inhabitants: The Minister of Health, Nelu Tătaru, states that, regarding the quarantine of a locality, at this moment, the criteria is six infections per thousand inhabitants, according to the order issued by the head of the Department for Emergency Situations. Nelu Tătaru, does not believe that we will have a total closure of activities as a measure to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus and considers that we can still avoid even the quarantine of some localities.
  • Bucharest Mayor Dan estimates a complete system of traffic management is accomplishable in two years: The General Mayor of Bucharest, Nicusor Dan, estimated on Wednesday that a complete system for traffic management, which would include smart traffic lights and correlations with public transport, could be done in two years, according to AGERPRES.
  • Prime Minister Orban, Israeli counterpart Netanyahu discuss possibility of joint production of COVID-19 vaccine: Prime Minister Ludovic Orban discussed at the meeting that he had on Tuesday, during the visit conducted to the State of Israel, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the “possibility of joint production of the COVID-19 vaccine,” according to a release of the Government, according to AGERPRES. “The two Prime Ministers discussed about the intensification of cooperation in the realms of defence industry, water management – including from the perspective of modernizing the irrigation system in Romania – while in the realm of health care the possibility of joint production of the vaccine against COVID-19 was approached. There were discussions, also, on the perspectives of bilateral cooperation in the realm of energy security,” the release shows. During an official visit to Israel on Tuesday, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban also met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and discussed about the excellent state of bilateral cooperation in the context of the privileged relationship between the two states.
  • PSD’s Ciolacu: Entire Romania to most likely go back to state of emergency and quarantine: The entire Romania will most likely go back to a state of emergency and quarantine, yet this will happen after the parliamentary election, due 6 December, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Marcel Ciolacu told the private broadcaster Realitatea Plus, on Tuesday night, according to AGERPRES. He admitted that the PSD no longer holds the majority to block the organization of the parliamentary elections on Dec. 6, yet pointed out that the party’s stance is that PSD would not enter alongside or vote a PNL government.
  • EduMin – new data regarding classes: 4,036 schools – 3rd scenario; Covid cases in 367 schools: A number of 4,036 educational units nationwide are carrying out their classes according to the 3rd scenario (online), while novel coronavirus infection cases have been recorded in 367 schools, the Ministry of Education and Research (MEC) informed on Tuesday.
  • Chamber passes bill creating June 4 Trianon Treaty Day in opposition to President Iohannis: On Tuesday, the Chamber of Deputies passed a bill, 175 to 23 and 85 abstentions, declaring June 4 Trianon Treaty Day, in opposition to President Klaus Iohannis’s request to Parliament to re-examine the bill.

 

Impact on the economy

  • Transport minister says Bucharest’s railway link to the airport will be put into operation next month: The new railway line connecting Bucharest’s largest train station Gara de Nord to the Henri Coanda International Airport in Otopeni will be put into operation on December 12, transport minister Lucian Bode said. A one-way journey on this route will take between 15 and 17 minutes.
  • Raiffeisen Romania removes cash operations in a third of its branches: Raiffeisen Bank Romania, one of the biggest banks on the local market, discontinued cash operations in about a third (129) of its branches starting November. This means that the cash operations will be carried out exclusively at the MFM and ATM, in the area dedicated to self-service that is available 24/7 and exists in each unit. The bank also reduced the working hours of the cash offices in several dozen other units.
  • RO recruiting platform Jobful signs strategic partnership with Microsoft Romania: Jobful, the first gamification recruitment platform in Romania, concluded a strategic partnership with Microsoft Romania to integrate its offered solutions with Microsoft platforms. The partnership aims to launch the Jobful platform on Microsoft Azure technology and complete the recruitment experience through tools such as Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Dynamics for HR, Economica.net reported.
  • Huawei complains to EC about Romania’s planned 5G security rules: The proposed 5G security rules in Poland and Romania “are predicated on several violations of EU law,” Huawei said in a letter sent to EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager on September 11. The company also complained about the bilateral “joint declarations” that Warsaw and Bucharest signed with the U.S. administration. In the letter, obtained by Politico through an access to documents request, Huawei argued Poland and Romania seek “to exclude suppliers based on biased and ambiguous criteria targeting certain 5G suppliers because of their geographic origin.”
  • Romanian snack producer raises another RON 4 mln with bond issue: Romanian snacks producer Golden Foods, which produces and sells nuts and seeds under the Elmas brand, raised RON 4 million (EUR 825,000) from the local capital market with a new bond issue.
  • Romanian dairy producer raises EUR 3 mln with bond issue: Romanian dairy producer Agroserv Mariuta, which owns the Laptaria cu Caimac brand, has finalized a private bond placement through which it raised EUR 3 million.
  • NEPI Rockcastle completes EUR 16 mln expansion of Shopping City Buzau: NEPI Rockcastle, the biggest mall owner in Romania, has completed the expansion of the Shopping City Buzau, a mall it previously took over from local investor Dan Ostahie. The expansion project started in 2018 and required an investment of EUR 16 million, Economica.net reported.
  • South African investment fund ready to join largest real estate project in Romania: South African investment fund RMH is ready to invest EUR 200 million in the mixed-use real estate project planned around the Romexpo exhibition center in Bucharest by Romanian businessman Iulian Dascalu and Atterbury Bucharest – the local subsidiary of South African real estate investor Atterbury Europe. RMH will own a quarter of the project, according to Profit.ro – which quotes sources familiar with the deal.The Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Liberal Party (PNL) voted a law in Parliament granting CCIR to use the land free of charge to benefit the local companies and economy. This prompted protests from other large real estate developers in Romania, including South African group NEPI Rockcastle – the biggest mall owner in Romania. NEPI said that the Romanian state shouldn’t give the land around Romexpo for free to a private entity and suggested a public auction instead.
  • Romanian entrepreneurs invest EUR 300,000 in digital & tech real estate startup: Alexandru Boghiu and Radu Gogoasa, two Romanian entrepreneurs with experience in tech, real estate and product development, have invested over EUR 300,000 in launching The Mavers, a digital & tech startup on the real estate market. The company will focus on three main pillars: data science projects (Mavers Analytics Technologies), proptech, and digitalization projects.
  • New passenger vehicle registrations drop 20.3 pct in Q3 from year-ago levels: New registrations of passenger vehicles were 20.3 percent down in Q3 compared to the third quarter of 2019, shows data released on Wednesday by the National Institute of Statistics (INS), according to AGERPRES.
  • Metro line project: North railway station – Progresul station, at estimated cost of 8.5 billion lei: Feasibility study for the construction of the M4 metro line Straulesti Lake – Progresul Station, section Bucharest North railway station – Progresul Station, will be discussed, on Thursday, in a meeting of the Interministerial Council for endorsement of public works of national interest and housing and the Ministry of Public Works, Development and Administration (MLPDA), according to AGERPRES.
  • Egypt attempting to revitalise Romanian-designed tractor: An Egyptian state-owned enterprise aims to revitalise the Romanian U650 tractor using modern technologies to meet demand in African markets, according to a press statement from the Romanian Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment released on Tuesday. On Monday, November 2, the senior official with the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment Iulian Cristian Simu met in Cairo Lieutenant General Abdel Moneem El-Terras, President and CEO of the Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI). The meeting was also attended by Mihai Stefan Stuparu, Romania’s ambassador to Egypt, as well as representatives of Romanian companies.
  • Transport Minister Bode: We should be able to make TAROM airline profitable within 4-5 years: The TAROM airline will overcome this, the Government supports it and, if the restructuring plan is observed, somewhere within 4-5 years it will become profitable, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communications Lucian Bode said on Tuesday.