Situation of COVID-19 cases in Romania

  • Number of daily Covid-19 cases still over 1,000 in Romania: There have been 1,104 new cases of coronavirus in Romania in the past 24 hours out of only 7,574 processed tests, according to the daily report released at 13:00 on Monday, July 27. These are new cases which have had no previous positive test before. This is the sixth day with over 1,000 cases per day, while over the weekend 1,120 new cases were reported on Sunday (out of 15,098 tests), and 1,284 on Saturday (out of 22,511 tests).  Overall, the tally has reached 45,902. Apart from the newly confirmed infections, following new testing of the patients who had already tested positive for coronavirus, 258 have been reconfirmed positive. Out of the total number of 45,902, 25,794 patients were declared cured and 3,440 were asymptomatic. Until today, 2,206 persons diagnosed with COVID-19 infection have died, with 19 new deaths reported in the past 24 hours. The total number of hospitalized patients is currently 6,876. 353 patients are in intensive care, the highest number since the outbreak of the pandemic.
  • Western Romania: Modular hospital for COVID-19 patients fills up four days after opening: The modular hospital for coronavirus patients built by the National Defense Ministry on a stadium in Timişoara, a city in western Romania, has no more available beds four days after its opening. From Wednesday, July 22, to Sunday, July 26, the hospital received 56 patients.
  • Romanian famous conductor dies of COVID-19: Camil Marinescu, one of the most famous Romanian contemporary conductors has died “after a three-week battle with the Covid-19 virus”, his brother Ciprian Marinescu has announced on Facebook on Monday.
  • Germany farm employing Romanian workers under quarantine, coronavirus testing ongoing: A farm in Germany’s Dingolfing-Landau district, where most of the 480 workers are Romanians, has been placed under quarantine, the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) announced.

 

 

Political and regulatory

 

  • Government, discussing possibility of imposing obligation to wear masks in crowded outdoor public spaces: Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said on Monday about the situation at the seaside that there are several measures under analysis, indicating, among other things, the obligation of wearing a mask in very crowded outdoor public spaces. “There are more measure under review-limiting the opening hours for terraces, clubs, observing social distancing on the beach, for it is very hard to identify if a group of people represents a family or not,” said the premier. ALDE criticized this option claiming that before compelling people to wear masks outdoors the Government has to keep its promise and grant free masks to vulnerable citizens. ALDE leader Calin Popescu Tariceanu also warned about hospital overcrowding with asymptomatic patients. PSD interim president Marcel Ciolacu also stressed on this aspect, resuming his promises of filing a censure motion.
  • Child allowances to rise depending on economic forecasts: Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said on Monday that the government will provide for a staggered rise of child allowances, and that the growth percentage and pace depend on economic forecasts. Regarding the rise of pensions, Orban said that “the report on the state of the economy and the state of the budget in the first half of the year must be finalized first,” and that the projections for the evolution of the Romanian economy in the coming years must also be completed first, “because the decision we’ll make depends on this and I can tell you for sure that we will increase pensions, yet in such way that we have the guarantee that the economy is able to support this increase.” The Prime Minister also said that the government is looking at the increase in pensions and allowances in a coordinated
  • European countries tighten regulation for visitors coming from Romania: Cyprus forbade the entry for visitors from Romania, Digi24.ro reported. Greece requested all those coming from Romania to have a valid negative test no older than 72 hours (for those arriving by plane, the requirement was waived so far). Italy also set a 14-day quarantine period for those coming from Romania, the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) said, quoted by Agerpres. Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, world number two, has decided to pull out of WTA tournament in Palermo due to the mandatory quarantine imposed in Italy for anyone coming from Romania or Bulgaria, the tournament organizers announced on Sunday, quoted by AFP. Tournament director Oliviero Palma expressed his frustration over Halep’s withdrawal.
  • INSP publishes updated ‘yellow zone’ list: The Romanian authorities have changed the list of countries where a quarantine or isolation of 14 days is required upon entering Romania, according to the Romanian National Institute of Public Health (INSP). The updated “yellow zone” list enters into force on Monday, July 27, and includes 44 states: South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Brazil. Cape Verde. Chile. Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eswatini, Guatemala, Honduras, Turks and Caicos Islands, US Virgin Islands, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Northern Macedonia, Maldives, Mexico, Moldova , Montenegro, Oman, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Dominican Republic, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, United States of America and Suriname. Notably, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates have been excluded from the yellow list.
  • First Romanian city under quarantine again as COVID-19 situation deteriorates: Faget, a town in Timis county, western Romania, is the first city placed under quarantine under the new legislation, G4media.ro reported. Still, more are likely to follow it as the number of people infected with COVID-19 has been rising fast in recent days. A final decision on quarantining Mioveni, where the Dacia car plant is located, and Pitesti, a bigger city close to it where part of the workers live, is expected for July 27.
  • RO labor minister says employment down only marginally versus January: The number of employees in Romania is now 5.58 million, 66,000 more than “during the Social Democrat Government,” labor minister Violeta Alexandru wrote in a Facebook post, on an electoral note. She claims that the number of labor contracts declined by only 664 compared to the beginning of this year, 9am.ro reported.
  • RO Govt. guarantees leasing contracts for SMEs: Romanian small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) can buy equipment and machinery under leasing financing, with state-guarantees.
  • Danca: If together we do not stop the spread of COVID-19, it will be increasingly difficult to revive the economy: National Liberal Party (PNL) spokesperson Ionel Danca states in a post made on his social media page on Sunday that “we must all understand a very simple thing, regardless of our political choice, no matter how many efforts the government is making, if we don’t stop together the spread of COVID-19, it will be increasingly difficult to return to normalcy and revive the economy.” He mentions that “other important programs in the National Plan for Investment and Economic Recovery are being finalized and are being endorsed and approved: the 1 billion euro restart grant program for companies affected by the crisis, the call for projects for the digitization of companies amounting to 150 million euros, the support of the flexible work program, the settlement of 41.5% of the salary for the seasonal workers and of 35% of the day laborers’ payment.”
  • Lucian Romascanu (PSD): ‘Klaus Iohannis should obtain Parliament’s mandate if negotiations regarding the EU funds are to be resumed’: Social Democratic Party (PSD) spokesperson Lucian Romascanu said it was possible that negotiations on funds for the EU countries could resume, in a context in which he called on President Klaus Iohannis to obtain a mandate from Parliament before going to negotiations. According to him, of the EU funds worth 80 billion euros for Romania, 17 billion are conditional loans. “If we break down the 80 billion, we see that 46.3 billion are related to the multiannual budget 2021-2027, 16.8 billion are non-reimbursable funds in the form of grants, the remaining 17 billion are conditional loans, of this money Romania will have to give about 1.4% of GDP back for the next budget cycle, which means we will be left with 40 billion. To which will be added some taxes that the EU intends to impose on Member States. There will be, for example, a tax of 0.8 euros per kilogram of unrecycled plastic. (…) there will be taxes on financial transactions,” added Romascanu.
  • Lucian Romascanu (PSD): ‘We will take measures so that Orban Government will go home as soon as possible’: Social Democratic Party (PSD) spokesperson Lucian Romascanu said that PSD will take measures so that the Government will go home as soon as possible, through a censure motion, and that the Executive is the only one responsible for Romania’s situation from the pandemic and economic perspective. “We will take measures so that, in the shortest possible time, through a motion of censure, this toxic Government will go home,” Romascanu told a press conference on Sunday. He specified that the PSD representatives are capable, until the motion is passed, of presenting to President Klaus Iohannis a proposal for a prime minister, a government and an economic program for this period.
  • Ministry of Labor: 746 people sustained occupational injuries in first quarter of 2020: A number of 746 people workers have sustained occupational injuries in the first quarter of 2020, down 48.9% form the same period of 2019, and of these 12 lost their lives, according to data centralized by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection (MMPS).
  • Day laborers must be registered in an electronic register, starting July 25: The persons who use day laborers for various temporary activities will be obliged, from Saturday, to give up the classical registers and to register the activity performed by the said workers in an electronic register, informs the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection (MMPS) in a press release on Friday.
  • Alliance for local elections in Bucharest between Pro Romania and party launched by Robert Negoita: Pro Romania, a party led by Victor Ponta, and the party launched by Bucharest District 3 mayor Robert Negoita, Bucharest 2020 Party, announced the formation of an alliance in the perspective of local elections. The Pro Bucharest 2020 Alliance was presented by Ponta and Negoita on Sunday at a press conference. Victor Ponta said that he supports Robert Negoita for District 3 City Hall, but also for the Capital City Hall – both in 2020 and in 2024. Bucharest General Mayor Gabriela Firea criticized on Sunday evening the Alliance claiming that it benefits PNL and USR.
  • Liberals’ final decision on local election candidates to be made on Saturday: The National Liberal Party’s National Political Bureau (BPN) will meet on Saturday for the final decision on the party’s candidates in the local elections, Liberal Chairman and Prime Minister Ludovic Orban announced at the party’s headquarters after a campaign meeting of the Liberals. Talks between USR and PNL this weekend were inconclusive,

 

Impact on the economy

 

  • Gruia Stoica bought the RAFO Onești refinery with 6 million dollars plus VAT: The Roserv Oil company, part of the GRAMPET Group, takes over the industrial platform of the RAFO Onești refinery, in a transaction coordinated in insolvency by CITR, according to a press release. Sources inside the company told ECONOMICA.NET that the value of the transaction was 6 million dollars plus VAT.
  • Saving the Romanian airline industry. Meeting between the representatives of the Government and of Tarom and Blue Air: Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, Minister of Finance, Florin Cîţu, and Minister of Transport, Lucian Bode, meet on Monday with the representatives of Tarom and Blue Air.
  • Overdue bank loans in Romania down 8.7% at end-June: The volume of overdue loans decreased by 8.7% at the end of June compared to the same moment last year, to RON 6.77 billion (nearly EUR 1.4 bln).
  • Romanian authorities to build circuit for testing self-driving cars: Companies that develop technologies for intelligent, autonomous vehicles will have a circuit for testing such vehicles in Romania, developed by the local administration in Cluj county, Profit.ro reported.
  • Vodafone Romania’s revenues, down 1.2% in Q2: Telecom group Vodafone Romania recorded service revenues of EUR 189.7 million for the quarter ended on June 30, 1.2% lower than in the same period last year.
  • Irish group takes over Steel division of leading RO construction materials producer: TeraPlast, the leading Romanian construction materials producer, announced that it reached an agreement for selling its Steel division to Kingspan Group of Ireland. The agreed price is RON 410 million (EUR 85 mln), adjusted for the net debt and working capital.
  • Iraqi and Romanian investors partner to develop new mountain resort in Romania: Local investors Alessio Karkhi and Nicu Hagivreta started the development of Murotti Valley, a touristic project that they aim to turn into the newest mountain resort in Romania. The project is located close to the Roman Peak (1,850 meters), 17 km north of Horezu (Valcea county).