Situation of COVID-19 cases in Romania
- Romania’s daily coronavirus case count remains above 1,300: Romania added 1,345 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 57,895 on Thursday, August 6, the authorities announced in the daily report released at 13:00. Separately, 737 patients who were retested still had the Covid-19 infection. Of the total cases, 28,992 patients have recovered, while 5,639 asymptomatic patients were discharged ten days after the diagnosis. At the same time, 45 coronavirus patients died in the past 24 hours, pushing the death toll to 2,566 since the start of the pandemic. The number of patients admitted to intensive care units reached 458, down from 464 the day before. In total, 7,961 coronavirus patients are admitted to hospitals in the country. At a national level, 1,319,369 tests were carried out by August 6, 24,147 of them in the past 24 hours. The highest number of new cases in the last 24 hours was registered in Bucharest (192), Prahova (102) and Arges (99).
Political and regulatory
- Race for Bucharest heats up as former PM will run against former president and incumbent mayor: The race for the mayor seat in Romania’s capital Bucharest could turn out to be the tightest in the last 30 years as former president Traian Basescu and former prime minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu have both announced their candidacies. They will run against incumbent mayor Gabriela Firea, supported by the Social Democratic Party (PSD), and activist Nicusor Dan, supported by the ruling Liberal Party (PNL) and by the alliance of progressist parties Save Romania Union (USR) and PLUS. Former prime minister Victor Ponta and his PRO Romania party also have a candidate for Bucharest mayor, a general who managed the Military Hospital in Bucharest in the past.
- President says most Romanian students will go to school on September 14: The new school year will start in Romania on September 14, and most students will likely go to class, president Klaus Iohannis announced on Wednesday evening, August 5, after talks with Government members. However, based on the COVID-19 pandemic evolution, the local authorities will have the power to decide on closing schools in localities that record-high numbers of new infection cases. For each school, the County Command for Emergency Situations will decide whether to go on the “green” scenario, which means that all students physically go to school, normal classes are held; the “yellow” scenario, the second, medium-risk scenario, which means that some of the activities are held in school, and some are held online; or scenario three – “red”, when no one goes to school, and everything takes place online. Bucharest currently falls into the “green” scenario, as do most localities in Romania, said the president.
- Former mayor of biggest city in NE Romania sentenced to five years in jail for bribery: Gheorghe Nichita, the former mayor of Iasi – the biggest city in northeastern Romania, was given a final five-year jail sentence by the Bucharest Court of Appeal on August 5, Mediafax reported. He thus received an extra year compared to the sentence ruled by the inferior court. Nichita was found guilty of bribe-taking.
- Switzerland imposes quarantine on travelers arriving from Romania starting August 8: Switzerland has added Romania to the list of countries and areas with a high risk of COVID-19 infection. This means that all travelers going from Romania to Switzerland will be required to go into quarantine for ten days, starting August 8 at midnight, according to public information from the Swiss authorities.
- EnviMin Alexe says focus on environmental projects priority moving forward: The main priority moving forward is to focus on environmental projects so that Romania may enjoy as much money as possible from the funding at its disposal, Minister of the Environment, Waters and Forestry (MMAP) Costel Alexe said on Thursday. According to a MMAP press statement, Alexe participated in a debate on the implementation of and prospects for the European Green Deal in Romania.
Impact on the economy
- Romanian tour operators ask for state support: Several Romanian tour operators and associations of tour operators asked once again public support from the Government, claiming that their activity has not generated revenues since March but requires an increased work volume.
- China’s Fosun buys office building in Bucharest: Fosun, one of the largest investment companies in China, bought the Floreasca Park office project ain northern Bucharest from the German fund GLL. The Floreasca Park office project, completed at the end of 2013 by Portland Trust in one of the hottest office areas in Bucharest, has a leasable area of 37,500 sqm and involved investments worth EUR 70 million. Among the building’s main tenants are Oracle, Allianz, Kellogg’s, and BASF.
- China’s Haier to relocate production of Rosières ovens from France to Romania: Haier, the largest household appliances producer in China and one of the largest in the world, will relocate the production of Rosières ovens to Romania, Profit.ro reported. Rosières is an emblematic brand of French know-how and gastronomy. This new production line will add to the refrigerator factory Haier is building in Romania.
- Romanian banks extended EUR 4.8 bln loans during March-Jun: The volume of new loans local banks granted to the population and companies in the four months since the beginning of the pandemic accounts for 8.5% of the balance of non-government credit at the end of June 2020.
- Romania’s National Bank cuts monetary policy rate by 25bp: Romania’s National Bank (BNR), in its August 5 monetary policy meeting, cut the refinancing rate by 25bp from 1.75% to 1.50%. Following this decision, the three-month ROBOR decreased to 2.05%, from 2.15% and reached the lowest value since March 2018.
- NBR expects inflation of 2.7% at the end of this year and 2.5% at the end of 2021: The annual CPI inflation rate for the end of this year and of the next year is forecasted at 2.7% and, respectively, at 2.5%, according to the Inflation Report posted on the website of the National Bank of Romania.