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Studies// What do Moldovans think about coronavirus?

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Most people from Moldova believe that the country will be very affected by the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic situation in the future, according to the data obtained through a survey on the COVID-19 perception, conducted by IMAS. The budget of 61% of respondents is already affected according to their declarations, as 39% of them said that money for food they have is not enough for the basic needs and 42% said it is hardly enough. The situation is similar when it comes to paying utilities.

The opinion of Moldovan citizens regarding the source of the virus is divergent: 26% of Moldovans said that the new type of coronavirus appeared in a wet market in China, 26% of them think the virus was developed in a laboratory, while almost one third of the respondents claimed that COVID-19 was intentionally spread to cause an economic crisis (32%). Moreover, 44% of survey participants said that the virus spread is intentional, being controlled by a political or military power, while 34% consider the virus spreads due medical causes.

83% of citizens say that they feel safer in Moldova than they would feel in many other places in the world;

75% believe that the measures taken by the Moldovan authorities to prevent the spread of coronavirus were the same or better than in other countries;

More than a half of the questioned citizens of the Republic of Moldova (58%) believe that fake news represent a problem for the entire country, and 36% said they see fake news about coronavirus almost every day. Fake news, according to the respondents, are often found on news portals (68%) and social media (65%). 53% of persons identified fake news while watching TV and 43% heard various rumours. However, 29% of people who saw fake news during the last month said that they also believed them at first.

At the same time, 80% of Moldovan people evaluated as at least satisfactory the way the authorities inform about the COVID-19 situation, 66% of them saying that the media covers enough topics as well.

98% of respondents claimed that they are aware of all protective measures to be taken against the novel coronavirus;

When referring to them, people mentioned hand washing/hand disinfection (87%), self-isolation/quarantine at home in case of suspecting the infections (50%), social distancing (49%), avoiding crowded places (43%) and avoiding trips (37%). Still, only 13% said they knew about avoided touching the face and 7% were aware about notifying the authorities, especially the family doctor in case of suspecting the infection.

72% of people answering the survey consider other citizens irresponsible when it comes to following the rules imposed by authorities;

A lot of participants expressed their concern that this virus could spread widely in the country. 35% said they were concerned about this fact, and 47% said they were more than concerned. Most of people (78%) are worried about their family members and themselves.

54% of Moldovan citizens consider that the authorities take all the necessary measures to prevent the spread of virus at the national level and that these measures are appropriate (59%). Most of them agree with all the measures taken by the Moldovan authorities, such as forbidding public events, people’s isolation at home, closing schools, prohibiting religious ceremonies in churches, involving army troops, etc.

People put their trust in the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection and Ministry of Internal Affairs – 2 key state institutions that manage the state of emergency situation. The involvement of the president of the country in the coordination of state institutions activity is regarded as a good thing – 74%.

Regarding the evolution of events in the Republic of Moldova, the respondents of the survey merely expressed their optimism, as only 22% of those surveyed consider that more and more people would be infected, and the medical system would not resist, 24% said that the number of cases would increase, but the medical system would be able to manage the situation and 44% claimed that the patients would be treated and the virus would be stopped in the coming weeks or months.

The survey was conducted by telephone between March 31 and April 8, involving 1020 respondents and having a fairly distributed share concerning gender, age, nationality, urban/rural areas, studies and occupation.

Another study conducted by the Center for Social Studies and Marketing “CBS-Research” showed that not everyone follow isolation rules – 31,5% continue to go to work, 24,7% work from home and 47% do not work at all. 25% of those who go to work use public transport. While 59% did not leave their house or courtyard in the last days, reducing their trips only for going to shopping – 79%, pharmacy – 38% and commuting to work – 17%, still there were 8% of the respondents who said they also visited relatives and friends.

65% of participants consider the virus very dangerous, 22% – somewhat dangerous, and the number of those who do not see it as an imminent danger does not exceed 2%;

Although they are aware that the new coronavirus is dangerous, some Moldovans continue to believe that it will not happen to them: 38,5% said it was unlikely that they or their relatives would get infected and 13,4% said there was no such probability.

Nearly 60% believe that natural remedies, such as garlic, can protect them, and nearly 18% believe that alcohol is effective in fighting COVID-19;

Over 77% of participants to the survey consider wearing a mask in public is an effective measure and 85% consider wearing gloves an effective measure.

The study was conducted at the begging of April on a panel of 202 people.

Photo: Backgrid UK / Profimedia

Jurnalistă that speaks English very well. De aia Maria are grijă că prietenii noștri străini să nu piardă nicio informație valoroasă despre actualitatea din Moldova.

Society

COVID-19 statistics: Moldova’s harmful figures that still can break the European records

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In June, the COVID-19 pandemic advanced rapidly in the Republic of Moldova. The number of contaminated persons increased by 92% as compared to May, while the growth was only 23% from April to May, according to a note of the ADEPT association. The same source stated that an increase by 70% in the number of deaths was recorded in June as compared to May.

With the lifting of the state of emergency in Moldova, the National Extraordinary Public Health Commission cancelled several restrictions contrary to the warnings of public health specialists regarding such premature measures: relaunch of dental and hairdressing services, resumption of international rail and road transport of people, markets re-opening and resumption of museums and libraries’ activity. The Commission also approved religious ceremonies in closed spaces, opening shopping malls and outdoor training for performance athletes, as well as regular flights and passenger charters.

See also: Lifting coronavirus restrictions in Moldova – risks and future costs

As a result, a record number of daily cases and deaths caused by the coronavirus was recorded in June. At the end of the state of emergency (May 15) the total balance of confirmed cases had reached 5 745, with a steady ascending trend. The trend  continued in the following weeks, reaching over 2 000 confirmed positive cases per week.

Source: statista.com

According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection (MHLSP) data, the peak of the daily cases recorded in Moldova was reached on June 17 – 478 new cases. To date, the total number of confirmed cases is 17 150 and the total number of deaths – 560. The Republic of Moldova ranks the 12th in the list of the European countries with the highest incidence of coronavirus cases – 410.88 cases per 100 000 population.

Another record number that has a huge negative impact on the way the coronavirus pandemic is managed in the country is the rate of the infected medical staff out of the total confirmed cases. Until, July 2, 2 429 cases of infection (13.11% of total cases) have been confirmed among medical staff, including 613 doctors, 28 pharmacists, 974 nurses, 125 janitors, 698 auxiliary personnel, as the MHLSP reported. The number of medical workers infected with COVID-19 has almost the same increase rate as the total number of infections, mentioned the ADEPT association.

The positive test rate is another figure that recorded one of the most significant growths as compared to other European countries. The total positive tests rate recorded since the beginning of testing (in February) is 20.8%, with the highest monthly rate of 24.1% in June. The maximum number of tests performed in one day was 1 659 on June 17. All in all, 82 635 people were tested for the first time and 20 404 were tested repeatedly in Moldova.

The MHLSP warned that the coronavirus also massively affects children. The authorities specified that a total of 824 minors were infected in the Republic of Moldova.

The positive news is that the number of registered active cases decreased during the last days of June. The same tendency was observed as regarding the medical staff. At the same time, the number of recoveries increased during the same period.

Source: statista.com

Photo: Wikimedia

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Politics

The effect of Russia’s constitutional changes on the Transnistrian region

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A nationwide referendum is held in the Russian Federation between June 25 and July 1 in order to amend the constitution of the country.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the opportunity to vote during several days was provided. The voting process is held outside and, in addition, contactless voting at home, electronic voting and voting using the Mobile Voter mechanism are available.

In the Transnistrian region, voting was allowed for three days, from June 28-30, the whole process being organised under similar conditions as in Russia, the Tass News Agency announced.

According to a survey conducted at 800 Russian polling stations from June 25 to June 28, the majority of voters opted for the amendments, 23.6% opposed them and 0.4% invalidated the ballot paper,

Beside the amendment offering the possibility of prolonging the presidential term of Vladimir Putin (until 2036 instead of 2024), there are a a few controversial amendments to the Russian fundamental law.

Source: Facebook| The Center for the Study of the Transnistrian Conflict Consequences

Russian federal territories

One of the most important articles of the Constitution of the Russian Federation that could be amended is article no. 67,  which provides for creation of federal territories in Russia and introduction of the expression “subjects of the Russian Federation”.

“By making this change, Putin wants to make sure that certain federal subjects do not leave the Russian Federation, such as Chechnya, Tatarstan or Crimea, the latter being illegally occupied by the Russian Federation. The territory of the Republic of Moldova doesn’t belong to  the Russian Federation. However, taking into consideration the priorities that President Dodon and socialist have, one could draw a parallel.

During the propagandist Moscow parade, Putin mentioned in his speech that all neighbours ‘are part of the Russian world’. Moldova, according to Vladimir Putin, is part of his strategic interest. The fact that 11% of the Moldova’s territory is hosting occupation troops proves it one more time,” said security policy expert Rosian Vasiloi.

Previously, President Igor Dodon claimed that federalisation is the only solution to solving conflicts in the Republic of Moldova, including the Transnistrian one.

Source: Facebook| The Center for the Study of the Transnistrian Conflict Consequences

Russia as the legal successor to the Soviet Union

In the same article, a paragraph was introduced, saying that the Russian Federation is the legal successor of the Soviet Union. Another amending paragraph states that the Russian Federation honours the memory of the “Fatherland’s defenders” and ensures the protection of historical truth. “The diminution of the importance of the act of heroism in the defence of the Fatherland is not allowed.”

Historian Andrei Cusco mentioned that the victory in World War II is a myth that represented the main pillar of the regime’s ideology after Putin came to power in 2000. “Russia has taken certain moments from the Soviet communist narrative and reinterpreted them to serve the interests and visions of the current regime,” Cusco said.

The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation prohibits the dissemination of information that expresses a clear disrespect regarding the days of military glory and memorable dates in Russia related to the defence of the Fatherland, as Meduza informed.

A good example is the reaction of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Moldova to the TVR Moldova declaration that June 22, 1941 was the day when Romania entered the World War II to liberate the Russian-occupied lands in the summer of 1940. “For Romanians, this date went down in history as the day of starting the fight for the reunification of the nation. The President of the Republic of Moldova, Igor Dodon, is not of the same opinion, as he stated that today is the day when the occupation of Bessarabia began,” it is said in the article.

The Embassy of the Russian Federation qualified the material as “uncivilised and extremely dangerous, because it justifies the war criminals.”

“Such tricks offend most Russian citizens who remember the common heroism of the Red Army that saved Europe from the Nazi plague.”

The perfect Russian child

One more completion to the constitution refers to children education, namely patriotism, citizenship and respect for the elderly.

The same approach existed during the USSR, when the principles of a very cultured man were considered love for the socialist homeland, friendship, companionship, humanity, honour, love for socialist work, etc.

 Marriage of a man and a woman

Another newly introduced amendment provides for the protection of the family, maternity, paternity and childhood, defending the institution of marriage as a union of a man and a woman, creating the conditions for a decent upbringing of children in a family, as well as for the fulfilment of the obligation to take care of parents.

Yet, another video promoting the amendment of the constitution promotes homophobia as well.

Crime against Russians

The Russian journalist Vladimir Pozner believes that the way of voting the amendments is not democratic. “There are many proposed amendments. Among them, there are those that I would be willing to support, but there are those that I am against of. Unfortunately, everything is organized in such a way, that either you order the entire dinner or none of the dishes,” he said.

Liubov Sobol, a Russian politician and lawyer at the Anticorruption Foundation, claimed that resetting Putin’s mandates to zero is a crime against Russians. “20 years were enough to implement all the reforms needed for our country. We saw that Putin failed. Corruption is flourishing in the country, we have a low level of education. There must be a change of power, and all eligible candidates must be allowed to run for president. People have to make a choice.”

This text is a translation. The original article here.

Photo: Facebook| The Center for the Study of the Transnistrian Conflict Consequences

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Environment

A natural water cycle? The floodwater dangers that are neglected in Moldova

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Due to heavy rains in Ukraine, Romania and the Republic of Moldova, the employees of the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (GIES) were working during the entire week to eliminate the consequences of the floods in the whole country.

The water level in the Dniester River increased by up to 3.5 m in some northern localities, while the State Hydrometeorological Service forecasted further increases of water level by July 2. Therefore, residents were evacuated from the villages at risk of flooding both from the Dniester and the Prut riverbeds, cleaning works were performed, protection dams were build or fortified, according to a note of the Government of Moldova.

However, beside the problem of flooded households and farmlands, there is also a critical ecological problem. Moldova is still a country with a limited access to centralised sewerage systems. The majority of population (especially in rural areas) still use an improvised toilet placed in the yard (latrine). Moreover, there are still localities in Moldova with no access to a centralised water supply systems, the water from local reservoirs being consumed. The floodwater accelerates the transfer of dangerous pollutants from various sources of pollution (including latrines) to the water that gets in the supply systems or local wells.

Source: gov.md

No water supply systems

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data, 81.8% of population  had access to the public water supply service in 2019. 53 cities and 724 rural localities had access to the public water supply system in the last year, which represented only 50.7% of the country’s localities.

About 51% of Moldovan villages do not have access to drinking water supply from public systems.

The localities from Chisinau (88.6%) and Gagauzia (78.1%) have the highest level of connection to the public water supply network. The lowest level is recorded in the North (35.5%). The water is usually captured from surface sources – 64.6%, from underground sources – 25.5%, or from other sources – 9.9%, informed the NBS.

Floods can lead to a higher risk of running out of drinking water for all localities in the Prut and the Dniester riverbeds, which do not have access to centralised water supply systems. Moreover, even those that do have access to such systems risk to drink contaminated water, if the water is captured from sources that came in contact with floodwater.

The National Agency for Public Health (NAPH) reported high levels of non-compliance of  the water from local wells, concerning both chemical and microbiological parameters. “This situation is determined by the lack of centralised sewerage systems, unsanitary conditions, the location of latrines and landfills in the immediate vicinity of wells,” noted the agency.

It also warned that the contaminated water from wells need to be pumped out and walls need to be cleaned in case if floods. When the water in the natural reservoirs is back it needs to be disinfected and tested. The question is how many flooded localities from Moldova respect the NAPH recommendations.

Source: gov.md

No sewerage systems

reportage of Moldova.org disclosed that seven out of ten households in the Republic of Moldova do not have a toilet in the house. On average, 21 out of 30 people use a latrine.

Only 126 out of 1682 localities have sewerage systems and only 73 of them have functional sewage treatment plants. Without a sewage treatment plant, wastewater reaches the soil and rivers, causing serious pollution.

Only 7.6% of Moldovan localities are provided with public sewerage system (95.0% of cities and 4.4% of rural localities).

The highest share of localities with access to the public sewerage system is registered in the capital city area (71.4%) and Gagauzia (15.6%), while the localities in the South and North have almost no access to such systems ( 5.4% and 4.7%), said the official NBS data for 2019.

Only a few localities from Moldova have access to decentralised sewerage systems with attached treatment plants and there are rare cases of households where home treatment plants attached to the individual sewerage system are built.

“In the 21st century, latrines must go down in history,” claimed the NAPH. In case the improvised toilets, built in the yards, are flooded, that could cause a real ecological catastrophe.

No sewage treatment plants

The rivers in the Republic of Moldova are highly polluted due to sewage that is discharged in rivers, as the National Environmental Center (NEC) warned. “The level of pollution and degradation of rivers is so high that we risk causing irreversible damage to the environment, which in turn endangers human life,” said the NEC representatives.

In 2019, 97.15% of the total volume of wastewater discharged in the central sewerage system was treated, as the national statistics reported. While in big cities this share was 99.55%, only 26% of the wastewater was treated in small villages. Let’s not forget also that only 4.4% of the rural localities in Moldova are provided with centralised sewerage system. That means that the biggest quantity of discharged wastewater in rural areas doesn’t reach sewerage systems and national statistics’ reports.

The polluted wastewater gets to the surface and underground waters and from there back to the water supply sources. Floodwater drastically worsens the situation, as even more pollutants reach the water Moldovans drink or use in agriculture.

Photo: gov.md

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