Situation of COVID-19 cases in Romania
- Over 1,200 new cases of COVID-19, 35 dead in the past 24hrs: There have been 1,215 new COVID-19 cases reported in Romania in the past 24 hours out of 19,491 conducted tests. 35 people infected with the novel coronavirus have died since the last reporting, while 485 patients currently hospitalized are in intensive care. So far, 63,762 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Romania since the start of the pandemic. 30,585 patients were declared cured and 6,756 were asymptomatic. Most new cases in the last 24 hours were registered in Bucharest (151), Vaslui (113) and Dambovita (71) counties.
- Second employee in the Health Ministry tested positive with coronavirus: A second employee of the Ministry of Health, a direct contact to the first one, was confirmed as being infected with the new coronavirus. Some offices within the Health Ministry will be disinfected on Tuesday, followed by a general disinfection in a later stage and additional protection measures, are among the measures announced by the Health Ministry on Monday.
Political and regulatory
- Tataru: We hope to stabilize at 1,200 cases per day and then decrease. My recommendation is to extend the state of alert: Minister of Health Nelu Tătaru stated for Libertatea daily that, at the moment, there are 17 counties that register increases of cases of infection with SARS-COV-2. The recommendation of the Minister of Health will be to extend the state of alert. Tataru also said he hopes for a stabilization at about 1,200 cases per day, a plateau phase, followed by a decline. “My recommendation is to extend the state of emergency under the current conditions. We have about 1,030 ventilated beds at ICU. About half of them are occupied,” Tataru added.
- Romania’s Public Health Institute updates recommendations for priority Covid-19 testing: The National Institute for Public Health (INSP) has updated the case definitions for the new coronavirus and the recommendations concerning those prioritized for Covid-19 testing, News.ro reported.
- Romanians arriving in Egypt need to show negative Covid-19 test, certain travelers exempt: Travelers arriving in Egypt need to show a negative Covid-19 test to be allowed entry to the country, Romania’s Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) announced. The measure is applicable starting August 15.
- Romania keeps Spain out of “yellow list” for “socio-economic” reasons: Romania’s National Institute of Public Health has updated the “yellow list” of countries with major epidemiological risk due to the high number of cases of coronavirus infection, adding Spain to this list, on the morning of August 10. The decision has taken by surprise the airlines and the few tourists who went on vacation in Spain. G4Media.ro quoting sources familiar to the matter stated that the Government intends to review the measure announced by the sanitary authority (INPS). And indeed, a press release issued by the National Committee for Emergency Situations (CNSU) under Government’s supervision took Spain out of the list later in the night of the same day. CNSU also moved the decision of updating the “yellow list” from INSP to CNSU. The Committee has also decided that before placing a country on the yellow list all implications on the public health will be considered and all social and economic aspects prompted by a quarantine measure will be analyzed.
- RO prime minister: local elections feasible at current infection rates: Romanian prime minister Ludovic Orban says that the local elections can take place if the situation of coronavirus (COVID-19) spread remains at the level seen during the last two weeks. Countries that have held elections recently (Poland, Croatia) haven’t seen an increase in the number of infections following the electoral process, PM Orban argued.
- Court of Accounts: 5 bln lei worth of government expenditures for fighting pandemic, as of June 30: Government expenditures from the state budget, local budgets and the unemployment insurance budget for the fight of the coronavirus pandemic amounted to 5 billion lei as of June 30, the Court of Accounts said in a release on Tuesday.
- EduMin Anisie: We are preparing OUG to regulate online education and amendments to Law 55/2020: The Government is preparing an emergency ordinance on online education for the school and academic year 2020-2021, as well as a draft law necessary for the physical presence at courses, allowing the decentralization of decision-making at the level of education institutions, school inspectorates and public health directorates, announced on Tuesday the Minister of Education, Monica Anisie.
- Pro Romania MPs to vote for motion of censure: Pro Romania MPs are going to vote for the motion of censure against the Orban government, the permanent delegation of this party decided on Monday.
- Political parties get over 6 million lei in public subsidies in first ten days of August: In the first ten days of August 2020, the Standing Electoral Authority (AEP) transferred to the accounts of seven parties – the Social Democratic Party (PSD); the National Liberal Party (PNL); the Save Romania Union (USR); the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), the People’s Movement Party (PMP); Pro Romania and the National Force Party subsidies to the tune of 6,044,078.77 lei in all.
- MAE: Additional measure for entering The Netherlands; authorities verify if self-isolation measure is observed: Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs that the Dutch authorities continue to firmly recommend the persons who are coming/returning from the Orange countries (the high-risk ones, in terms of the novel coronavirus spreading level), including Romania, to self-isolate at home for 14 days and that they also verify whether the self-isolation measure is observed or not.
- ForMin Aurescu “very concerned” about situation in Belarus, urges stop to violence, start political dialogue: Romania’s Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu says he is “very concerned” about the situation in Belarus, stressing that the “only way” out is to end violence and start a political dialogue.
- Eugen Tomac announces the start of the signature raising campaign for Traian Băsescu’s candidacy for the Bucharest City Hall: PMP President Eugen Tomac asked party members and supporters to collect signatures for Traian Băsescu’s candidacy for the Bucharest City Hall. Meanwhile, Traian Basescu announced on Monday evening on B1TV that he intends to negotiate with PNL for taking over the PD-L brand (former Liberal Democrat Party which merged with PNL), as he hopes to run under the party name that brought him twice the presidency and once the Bucharest City Hall. MEP Vasile Blaga, the last president of the former PDL, stated that the name cannot be taken over, as this party disappeared following the merger with the PNL.
Impact on the economy
- Romania’s flag carrier Tarom starts cutting personnel in two weeks: Romanian national air carrier Tarom will start personnel cuts within two weeks after the Government formally endorses the decision. Some 700 of its 1,800 employees will lose their jobs, according to the restructuring plan adopted for a EUR 36.7 mln state aid requested last year and received earlier this year.
- The COVID-19 epidemic changed the Romanians’ consumption habits regarding products and services – study: The COVID-19 epidemic changed the consumption habits of Romanians regarding products, services, media channels and social experiences accessed, with quality and price becoming the main criteria for Romanian consumers’ choice, according to a study conducted by consultancy firm EY Romania. Almost 85% of Romanian consumers say that the way companies behave is same as important to them as the products/services they provide, 80% claiming that the business environment has a responsibility to make changes in the world. In the context of COVID-19, 59% of study participants say they can see the positive impact of companies in the society. The best ranked companies in the top of Romanian consumer confidence in terms of COVID-19 crisis management are technology companies (84.5%) and retail companies (74%). Pharmaceutical companies are in a lower position, with only 58% of respondents considering that Big Pharma responded effectively in the current situation.
- Sales of dermo-cosmetics in Romania down by 18.5% in Q2: Romanians bought dermo-cosmetic products from pharmacies worth RON 58.6 mln (EUR 12 mln) in April-June, 18.5% less than in the same period last year.
- Ringier Romania takes full control of real estate portal imobiliare.ro: Swiss group Ringier became the sole owner of the real estate portal imobiliare.ro in Romania, four years after it became its majority shareholder, Profit.ro reported. Ringier Romania has acquired the remaining shares from the three founders, Adrian Erimescu, Ciprian Gheran, and Radu Andrei. Ringier has appointed Dan Puică, former CEO of BestJobs and financial director of OLX, as CEO.
- PwC: RO carmakers’ reliance on foreign market make them vulnerable: A vulnerability of Romania’s automobile industry in this period is its dependence on exports, which are recovering with great difficulty, according to an article written by Daniel Anghel, PwC Romania partner, and leader of services for the automotive industry.
- Romania’s exports down by a third in Q2: Romania’s exports contracted to EUR 11.5 billion in the second quarter (Q2) of the year, down 33.5% compared to the same period last year.
- Enel X opens network of charging stations in Bucharest, surrounding areas: Enel X Romania, a subsidiary of the Enel Group’s advanced energy services division Enel X, has installed and put in operation a network of 34 charging points in Bucharest and surrounding areas, the company announced.
- Central Europe CFOs reach pessimism peak amid uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic: Central Europe chief financial officers have reached a pessimism peak as their confidence about the economic outlook and the wider business environment continues to fall amid the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest Deloitte CE CFO Survey, conducted on more than 300 leading finance professionals in six countries – the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania. Almost three quarters of the respondents (72%) stated they were less optimistic about their companies’ financial prospects than before the new coronavirus outbreak, with Polish leading the top of the pessimistic (79%), followed by Romanians (75%).
- New General Manager of Cisco Romania appointed: Cisco announced the appointment of Paul Maravei as new General Manager of Cisco Romania, starting August 1st. After almost 7 years at the helm of Cisco Romania, Dorin Pena has been promoted to regional level.
- Nagarro Holding and iQuest Group join forces in Romania: Nagarro, a global leader in digital engineering and technology solutions owned by the German group Allgeier SE, and iQuest, a company specializing in software development and part of the same group, will join forces in Romania. Following the transaction, in Romania the two companies will reunite approx. 815 employees, mostly part of iQuest. Nagarro in Romania, based in Timisoara, has 155 employees, and iQuest, with offices in Cluj, Brasov, Bucharest, Craiova, and Sibiu, and has over 660 employees.
- Romania’s raw milk imports 42.8 pct up in H1: Romania’s raw milk imports in H1 2020 were almost 43 percent higher YoY, while the amount of milk collected by processing units from farms and collection centers was by 0.7 percent lower than in the same period of the year before, shows data released on Tuesday by the National Institute of Statistics (INS).
- Average net wage up to 3,298 lei in June: The average gross nominal wage was 5,369 lei in June 2020, by 181 lei (+ 3.5%) higher than in May 2020, and the average net nominal wage was 3,298 lei, up from the previous month by 119 lei (+ 3.7%), according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INS) published on Tuesday.
- Analysis. How did the crisis affect SEE countries and what are the prospects for their recovery?: The latest analysis from SeeNews agency covers the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the healthcare systems and economies of the 11 countries of Southeast Europe. Romania is mentioned among the countries not expected to be able to fully recover their GDP levels in 2021.