Situation of COVID-19 cases in Romania
- COVID-19 cases surpass 18,200 in Romania, over 11,600 patients declared cured: The Romanian authorities have confirmed a total of 18,283 cases of coronavirus by Monday, May 25, according to the official daily report released at 13:00. A total of 213 people tested positive for the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in the last 24 hours. The number of confirmed patients who have recovered from COVID-19 also increased to 11,630 (up from 11,399 reported on Sunday). The death toll has also risen to almost 1,200. Almost 377,200 tests were processed nationwide by Monday, May 25.
- More than 10,000 Bucharest residents to be tested for COVID-19 antibodies: A total of 10,500 Bucharest residents will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies within a testing program of the capital’s City Hall, mayor Gabriela Firea announced on Sunday, May 24. A number of 8,500 Bucharesters have registered so far for the programme.
- 30,000 Romanians to be tested in national survey: Thirty thousand Romanians will be tested in a national survey meant to show the population’s immunity to the Covid-19 virus, Horațiu Moldovan, a state secretary with the Health Ministry, told local TV station Digi24.ro. The testing campaign will start after the peak of the epidemic, he said, explaining that while new cases emerge, the results would not be relevant.
Political and regulatory
- PM Orban: Gov’t to meet next week to prepare normative act for the period after June 1: The Government is set to prepare the normative act for the period of time to follow after June 1 at its next meeting on Wednesday or Thursday, Prime Minister Ludovic Orban stated on Sunday. “On Wednesday or Thursday, we will prepare the normative acts for the period after June 1,” Orban said during a visit he paid to Stefanesti, for the inauguration of the National Museum “Bratianu,” but he didn’t give any more details.
- HealthMin Tataru says COVID-19 infections on downward path in Romania: Health Minister Nelu Tataru said in Iasi on Friday that COVID-19 infections in Romania are on a downward path. “That plateau time has passed. We are on a downward path. There has been almost a week in which we have gone down a downward slope and for about 4-5 days cases have been actually declining. We had a day yesterday when the number seemed to go up, but today we are on a downward slope. Once again, these are the 10 days we have been managing after the first weekend of relaxation in which at least some of us interpreted things in a different way,” said Tataru.
- HealthMin says there is no difference of opinion between him and PM in respect to the mask-wearing requirement: Health Minister Nelu Tataru on Friday stated that there is no difference of opinion between him and Prime Minister Ludovic Orban in respect to the obligation to wear a mask indoors. Tataru said in Iasi that experts from the ministries and technical working groups are proposing a series of measures, but the final decision and exemptions to the requirement to wear a mask will be taken by the National Committee for Emergency Situations. He added the order stipulating the exemptions to the mask-wearing rule won’t be published in the Official Journal until it is validated by the National Committee for Emergency Situations. Nelu Tataru added that he supports the need for people to have their body temperature checked upon entering enclosed public spaces, calling such a measure “a minimum epidemiological triage.”
- Drought strikes 1.6 million hectares of agricultural crops in Romania: In Romania, there are 1.6 million hectares of drought-stricken agricultural crops, 941,000 of which have already been checked, Agriculture Minister Adrian Oros said Monday at a news conference. “Regarding the reports of damage, from the notifications made by the farmers, there are 1.6 million hectares stricken by drought, of which 941,000 hectares have been verified so far. Of course, the teams ascertaining the size of the damage are working continuously, including on Saturday and Sunday, because we, at the end of May, want to have these reports concluded, and by June 15 to have the summaries by counties, by small towns, by plots, in order to know exactly how to design the compensations,” said Oros. The Minister of Agriculture also said during Monday’s conference that quality schemes represent the way to promote Romanian products. As regards Law 28/2020 on the marketing of foodstuffs, Adrian Oros, stressed that there is a desire for the European Directive to be transposed as soon as possible, so that “there are no longer those hidden provisions, which wildly disadvantaged the producer and the small processor and shelf access was very difficult. “I would like to clarify this aspect because I saw all weekend that there are debates on this topic, the sale of Romanian agri-food products and there was a lot of confusion. Nobody knew what the history of this law was,” said the Minister of Agriculture.
- Romania sends team to U.S. to support Alabama authorities in tackling coronavirus pandemic: A 15-member team of specialists of the Romanian Defense Ministry (MAPN) is set to leave for the United States on Monday, May 25, in a mission to support the authorities in the state of Alabama in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic. As part of the mission, they will also get informed about how the U.S. is applying methods to combat the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release of the MAPN. Prime Minister Ludovic Orban on Monday wished success to a specialist team from the country’s National Defense Ministry (MApN) who are going on a mission to the US state of Alabama to offer support to local governments in the fight against COVID-19, emphasizing that between the United States and Romania there is a “solid” strategic partnership that generates common actions in all fields of activity.
- Daniel Zamfir responds to Prime Minister Orban in the dispute over the ASF leadership: Senator Daniel Zamfir, who announced that he is supported by PSD for the position of president of the Financial Oversight Authority (ASF), responds to Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, who recently stated that his nomination to ASF would be “an act of defiance from the PSD”. Zamfir, who has become well known to the public as a promoter of a package of laws against banks, says that ASF is like a powder keg, especially in the insurances area, and reminds the prime minister that he is openly supported by eight organizations from the private environment and from the consumer protection area.
- EnvirMin Alexe plans to carry out the largest expansion of forests in the past 30 years: Romania has at least 500,000 hectares of degraded lands, in which context we have a big plan to substantially extend the surface that was covered by forests in Romania in the past 30 years, the Minister of Environment, Water and Forests Costel Alexe stated on Monday.
Impact on the economy
- Romanian restaurants hope to operate normally starting July 1: The employers’ association in Romania’s HoReCa industry, HORA, agreed with prime minister Ludovic Orban on a plan to reopen the restaurants and resume normal operations as of July 1, Profit.ro reported.
- Mall owners and consultants, open letter for the reopening of major shopping malls. Estimated losses of 750 million euros: CBRE, the leader of the real estate consulting market, sent a letter to the representatives of the Romanian Government requesting the resumption of retail activities carried out in large shopping centers. The letter was signed by nine owners of shopping centers from Bucharest and 24 regional cities, who own a total of 52 projects with over 4,600 tenants.
- More than 400,000 jobs lost in Romania since mid-March: Over 0.4 million labor contracts were terminated in Romania from the outset of the state of emergency, on March 16, until Friday, May 22, according to data centralized by the Labor Inspectorate and published by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection.
- Convergence Programme for 2020: The share of gross government debt according to the European Union methodology will be 40.9 per cent of the GDP at the end of 2020, compared to 35.2 per cent in 2019, according to the Convergence Program for 2020 published by the Ministry of Public Finance ( MFP). According to the same document, the economic activity in Romania will see a severe drop in the second quarter of this year, by 14.4 per cent, while the impact on the manufacturing industry in the mentioned period will be about 18 per cent, and the decline in manufacturing textiles and clothing, leather, and also in the automotive industry will exceed 35 per cent.
- The Association of Automobile Manufacturers receives the public utility status from the Government: The association that groups the two car manufacturers, Dacia and Ford, as well as other companies in the automotive industry, manufacturers of subassemblies or services, ACAROM, was recognized by the Romanian Government of being of public utility.
- Air France resumes Bucharest – Paris flights, the first one scheduled on June 3: Air France has announced it is resuming flights between Bucharest and Paris (Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris and Bucharest’s Henri Coanda Airport) starting on June 3, after an almost 2-month break prompted by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, Romanian low cost airline Blue Air, has announced today it is resuming regular flights as of early July, in stages, after a programme correlated with the European movement regulations.