Situation of COVID-19 cases in Romania

  1. Romania sees 1,271 new cases, 51 deaths in 24 hours: Romanian officials confirmed 1,271 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, out of 24,043 tests, according to the official daily report released on Wednesday, September 9. Thus, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Romania went up to 98,304.  More than 41,000 coronavirus patients were declared cured so far, and 12,557 asymptomatic patients were discharged ten days after the diagnosis. Meanwhile, the death toll has risen to 4,018, according to the same report. A total of 51 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. About 1.99 million tests were performed in Romania so far. A total of 24,043 tests were performed in the last 24 hours: 15,142 based on the medical protocol, and 8,901 upon request. The number of COVID-19 patients treated in intensive care units was 459 on Wednesday, September 9. In total, more than 7,100 coronavirus patients are hospitalized.  Most new cases in the last 24 hours were registered in Bucharest (180), followed by Iasi (59), Brasov (56), Constanta and Vaslui (53 each).

 

 

Political and regulatory

 

  1. Romania could see over 2,000 COVID-19 cases per day if prevention rules aren’t followed, health minister says: The start of the new school year and the local elections could lead to an increase in coronavirus cases in the country, especially if the prevention rules aren’t followed, Romanian health minister Nelu Tataru said. He warned that Romania could see more than 2,000 COVID-19 cases daily if the prevention measures are not respected. “We’re preparing hospitals for 2,000 cases a day, but it depends a lot on how severe these cases will be,” the minister also said.
  2. Romanian-Ukrainian naval training exercise on the Danube, on NATO’s eastern border: Approximately 300 Romanian and Ukrainian service staff are participating in a new edition of the exercise Riverine 2020, on the river Danube, in the area between southeastern Tulcea and Izmail (Ukraine), organized by the Romanian Naval Forces in the September 7-11 period.
  3. PSD’s Ciolacu about pension increase by 40 pct: We believe the amendment will pass joint plenum: The chairman of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Marcel Ciolacu, stated on Tuesday night for the private broadcaster Romania TV that he had discussions with several parliamentary group leaders about the amendment submitted to the budget revision according to which the pension point would be increased by 40 pct, adding that this amendment will pass the joint plenum of Parliament.
  4. Tax Register of Political Parties registered at Bucharest Municipal Court, issued by Permanent Electoral Authority: The Permanent Electoral Authority (AEP) announced that it carried out, for the first time in the history of this institution, “The tax register of political parties registered in the Bucharest Municipal Court”, which is part of the series of permanent actions to open and make the financing of the political parties transparent.
  5. HealthMin Tataru: The medical system has a disease, starting with primary care upwards: The Minister of Health, Nelu Tataru, on Tuesday, stated that the medical system suffers from “a disease, starting from primary care upwards”, and the pandemic period showed “the reality.” He said a “real health care reform” could be made through a “fair” law adjusted to our times.
  6. EnvMin Alexe: We have 480mln lei for 350 environmentally friendly means of transport: Minister of Environment, Waters and Forestry Costel Alexe told a Tuesday’s press conference that he launches for public debate the financing guide for ecological public transport in urban agglomerations. Through this program, town halls can purchase less polluting vehicles.
  7. Pro Romania’s Ponta: Pro Romania will grow while staying in opposition: Pro Romania’s party will not join any government after the parliamentary elections in December, and it will remain in opposition until 2024, the leader of this political party, Victor Ponta, stated on Tuesday in Botosani.
  8. FinMin says all estimates clearly show Romania’s economy will grow in 2021: Minister of Finance Florin Citu on Tuesday told a press conference in Iasi that Romania’s economy will recover in the third quarter of the year, and that all estimates, national and international, forecast growth for next year for Romania’s economy. He said expert estimates show Romania’s economy will grow next year, too.
  9. NATO Deputy Secretary-General Geoana: NATO is ready for second wave of the pandemic: The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is ready for a possible second wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and has a plan to support allies in case of need, the Deputy Secretary-General of NATO Mircea Geoana stated on Tuesday. He sent a video message to the participants in the Annual Meeting of the Romanian Diplomacy. Romania is a “vital ally” of NATO and has the role of “regional pivot” in defending and discouraging threats against the Alliance, NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana added on Tuesday.
  10. President of Rectors’ Council Cimpeanu: Opening student halls is an urgent problem: The President of the National Council of Rectors (CNR), Sorin Cimpeanu, on Tuesday stated that, although most universities have decided to hold all courses online, and also most of the seminars, the fact that students are still required to physically attend workshops, laboratories and other practical works means that the accommodation units problem is still one that needs an urgent solution.
  11. APIA’s Pintea: More than 9,800 farmers have applied for drought compensation: More than 9,800 farmers have applied for drought compensation, and the estimated number of potential beneficiaries is 30,000, said on Tuesday the director general of the Agency for Payments and Intervention for Agriculture (APIA), Adrian Pintea.
  12. PM Orban meets Ukraine’s ForMin Kuleba: Romania’s Prime Minister Ludovic Orban had a meeting in Bucharest on Tuesday with visiting Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, extending a message of support for Ukraine’s democratic course and aspirations for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, as well as for its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Tuesday in Bucharest that if 2014, when Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation, can teach us a lesson it would be that everything is possible.
  13. Electoral Bureau revises decision on transitory visas for September 27 elections: The Central Electoral Bureau (BEC) has ruled on Monday that Romanians who have not applied for a transitory visa by September 4 at the latest would only be able to vote in their hometown in the upcoming local elections. However, they have immediately revised the decision, saying that those who did not get their transitory visa by September 4 will still be able to vote on additional lists. BEC’s decision comes after several NGOs reacted and asked BEC for clarifications. Meanwhile, information campaigns continue urging youngsters without visa in Bucharest to vote in the city where they live. According to sources quoted by Hotnews, Monday’s ruling was taken mainly by PSD and ALDE representatives in BEC, while the USR, PNL and UDMR members have voted against. The ruling also faced legal issues, as it set an interdiction retroactively.
  14. Bill on amending the Labor Code on HR practices, rejected: A bill initiated last year by UDMR and PSD MPs proposed forcing all employers to organize the HR and salary activity either by appointing their own employees, with certified skills in the field, or by contracting specialized external services. The bill was intended to reduce errors in labor records made by people without certified training, yet implied additional costs. The Parliament, through the final vote of the Chamber of Deputies, rejected on Tuesday this obligation which would have fallen to the companies, which will be able to choose to organize internally their human resources activity by assuming the specific attributions or by identifying an employee with such attributions.
  15. MFA Bogdan Aurescu: More efforts needed to persuade Romanians directly seek assistance from diplomatic missions: More efforts are needed “to persuade the Romanian citizens to directly contact diplomatic missions or consular offices in order to request assistance,” Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said on Wednesday in the opening of the Annual Meeting of the Romanian Diplomacy session dedicated to managing consular affairs in the COVID-19 context. Speaking about the need for additional resources in the consular field, Aurescu said that “one of the most important lessons learned during this period is that the consular network and capacity has been, is, and – as we can predict – will further be under significant pressure. It is clear that we need to allocate additional financial and human resources.”

Impact on the economy

 

  1. Net investments in Romanian economy increase by 1.5 pct in first semester: Net investments done in the national economy totaled 41.596 billion RON, in H1 of 2020, an increase by 1.5 pct, over H1 of 2019, shows the provisional data published, on Wednesday, by the National Institute for Statistics (INS). According to the INS, in Q2 2020, the net investments in the national economy totaled 23.509 billion RON, a 0.4 pct increase, compared to Q2 2019.
  2. Romania’s seven-month trade deficit widens by almost half a billion euros: Romania’s seven-month trade deficit expanded to 9.990 billion euros, 481.4 million euros more compared to the same period of 2019, as exports fell 16.2 pct and imports dropped 12.2 pct, according to data released on Wednesday by the National Institute of Statistics (INS). Against July 2019, exports were 5.1 percent down and imports fell 9.9 percent.
  3. Study reveals Romanians’ transportation preferences during pandemic: Most Romanians over the age of 18 (68%) believe that the personal car is the safest form of transportation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the IRES-UNSAR Barometer on Risk Perception and Insurance Culture in Romania. Public transport comes next (11%), followed by bicycles (9%).
  4. Techcelerator invites Romanian fintech start-ups to compete for new acceleration round: Twelve startups in the fintech area will be selected for the fifth round of the local Techcelerator program. They can receive up to EUR 200,000 for business development at the end of the acceleration phase, from investment partners GapMinder VC, TechAngels, SeedBlink, and other regional investors. Interested companies can register until October 1.
  5. Dutch logistics group KLG Europe launches e-fulfillment service in Romania: Dutch logistics group KLG Europe, part of the Chinese group Sinotrans, has launched a new e-fulfillment service in Romania under the brand Simplify. Simplify offers local e-commerce operators a solution based on integrating technology and operational flows to simplify an online store’s internal processes.
  6. One United draws EUR 25 mln from local investors for office project in Bucharest: One United Properties, one of the most active real estate developers in Bucharest, founded and controlled by local investors Victor Capitanu and Andrei Diaconescu, and its partner Element Invest Partners, have drawn a EUR 25 mln financing from other local entrepreneurs for completing the office buildings within the One United Cotroceni mixed-use project.
  7. Association of HR services providers launches in Romania: The Romanian Association of Temporary Work Agencies (ARAMT) has rebranded itself as the Association of Human Resources Services Providers (AFSRU). The change aims to broaden the association’s activity area with HR services related to temporary work, the association said in a press release. Romania currently has the lowest rate of employment contracts for temporary work in Europe and faces very diverse challenges in the area of human resources services, especially in the special context generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the association.
  8. Manpower Group: Companies in Romania to restart hiring in last quarter: Romanian companies report a Net Employment Outlook of +3% for the last quarter of this year (Q4), up 17 percentage points compared to the negative outlook recorded in the third quarter, according to ManpowerGroup’s Employment Outlook Survey. However, the value is still eight percentage points below the level in Q4 2019. Employers were also asked when they expect to return to pre-COVID-19 employment levels, and 36% of Romanian employers surveyed expect this to happen by July 2021.
  9. Demand on real estate market increases by 15% in August: Demand on the real estate market increased by 15% in August compared to January, after a sharp decrease of almost 70% at the end of March, in the context of the Covid-19 epidemic, and Cluj-Napoca still ranks first in a price list, according to a press release of a specialized company.
  10. Almost 30,000 housing units handed over in the first 6 months: A number of 29,765 housing units were handed over in the first half of the current year, up by 2,561 units compared to the first semester of 2019, according to data published on Wednesday by the National Institute of Statistics ( INS).
  11. Over a third of Romania’s households cover with difficulty current living expenses: Over a third of households in Romania (34.1%) cover with difficulty or with great difficulty the current living expenses, and if also taken into account those that declare some difficulty in covering the expenses of every day, the share reached stands at 77.2% of all households, according to a survey by the National Institute of Statistics (INS).
  12. Oltenia Complex gets environmental permit to continue operation of Rosia quarry: The Oltenia Energy Complex (CEO) has got an environmental permit for the continuation of works in the extended license area of the investment related to the opening and commissioning of the Rosia de Jiu quarry, Gorj County, at a capacity of 8 million tons/year of lignite, reads a statement posted on the company’s website on Tuesday.
  13. Otopeni airport eases access conditions: Passengers who are leaving from Henri Coanda/Otopeni Airport in Bucharest will have direct access to the Departures terminal building as of September 9. Thus, the mandatory rule of passing through the tents in front of the terminal is removed.
  14. Real estate specialists estimate a national average correction between 5% and 10% for apartment prices: Specialists estimate a national average correction between 5% and 10% of the price for apartments, with variations depending on the market / city, and over 40% of them believe that the volume of real estate transactions will decrease for all types of properties, according to a study on the impact of Covid-19 in the real estate market, conducted at European level.
  15. Forecast: Negative or zero inflation in August. In 2020 we will have inflation of 2.8%, say the economists from banks: On September 10, the National Institute of Statistics will publish the inflation for August. Economists in commercial banks believe that we will have a stagnant inflation in August compared to July or even slightly lower, between 2.6% and 2.75% in August 2020 compared to August 2019. Annual inflation is expected to be between 2.8% and 3%.
  16. Moldovagaz says there are gas supply offers from Romania, but it is more convenient to buy from Gazprom: The head of Moldovagaz, by far the largest gas supplier in the Republic of Moldova, said that there is interest from other Romanian suppliers to sell gas in the Republic of Moldova, but Russian gas is cheaper. He recalled that the contract with Gazprom was extended, the price remaining the same, but “we want to renegotiate a new contract, for a period of three years, on more advantageous terms.” Romania’s natural gas transporter Transgaz recently announced the completion of the entire Iași-Ungheni-Chisinau gas pipeline, a project that cost EUR 150 million euros, invested mainly by Transgaz, and intended precisely to lower the Rep. of Moldova’s dependence on Russian gas, but although the Romanian company says that, technically, gas deliveries can start at any time, the pipeline is empty. The reasons are both technical and commercial.
  17. Petrom official: Only a quarter of those who have a car will replace it with an electric one in the next ten years: Despite the spectacular advance of electric cars, Petrom’s director responsible for refining and marketing says that in Romania only a quarter from the current fleet of personal cars that have a thermal combustion engine will be replaced by an electric vehicle in the next ten years, for two reasons: the still limited network of charging stations and consumer behavior.
  18. Enel X installs electric car charging stations at Petrom and OMV gas stations: OMV Petrom, the largest energy company in South-Eastern Europe, and Enel X Romania, Enel Group’s advanced energy services division, will install, in next month, in the fuel distribution stations of the OMV and Petrom networks, 10 fast recharging stations for electric vehciles, according to a press release from the two companies.