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Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Day 305


Measures against Covid-19 cannot stop Epiphany ice horo dance in Kalofer

In the town of Kalofer, the traditional men's horo dance in the Tundzha River on Epiphany was held once again despite the anti-epidemic measures. Led by a bagpiper and a drummer, men in traditional folk costumes went to the waters of the river early in the morning.

"The holiday is something of a symbol and relic for our town. This ritual is for health!" Mayor Rumen Stoyanov has told the Horizont program of the BNR. "I take responsibility and I can be fined," the mayor added. He is also a traditional participant in the ritual, but in 2021 he did not take part in the icy dance because of his official position.

The mayor said that he could not stop the ritual and the strong faith of the citizens of Kalofer and added that even the communist regime before 1989 had failed to break the tradition.

Because of the "male horo dance", the mayor of Kalofer Rumen Stoyanov has been fined with a penalty of 1,000 leva (511 euro) for non-compliance with the anti-epidemic measures currently in force in Bulgaria.

11% new Covid-19 infections after 11,456 tests

For the past 24 hours 1310 newly infected with coronavirus have been registered in this country after 11 456 tests, according to the Coronavirus Information Portal.

The total number of infected since the beginning of the pandemic has reached 205,390. The active cases are 70,722. 4,286 patients are hospitalized. 393 patients with coronavirus are in intensive care wards. In the past 24 hours, 2,142 people recovered. With them, the total number of recovered has already reached 126,766. In the past 24 hours, 67 people with established coronavirus infection passed away. The total number of deaths from the virus in Bulgaria has reached 7,902.

5,448 people in this country have been vaccinated against COVID-19. 709 people were vaccinated in the past 24 hours.

President Radev will set date for elections by end-January

 “Before talking about elections at all, the prime minister owes the public answers regarding the highest death rate in Bulgaria,” said President Rumen Radev during the military flags water blessing ceremony held to mark Epiphany.

In Rumen Radev’s words, 28 March is the earliest possible election date but he will schedule the elections by decree by the end of January.  The aim of the consultations is not the date but the way the elections should take place. Unlike the premier to me it is important and it matters how Bulgarians will have their health and their right to vote guaranteed. To me it matters how effective the election campaign will be and how the voting machines will be audited, President Radev stated further. He emphasized that it is his obligation to set a date for the elections but that organizing and holding the election is the obligation of the government.

Pandemic brings down number of road accidents

The number of road accidents is down by 24% during the first 6 months of the pandemic year – 2020 - compared to the same period of the last five years – 2015-2019, indicates a summary report on the traffic situation and road safety adopted by the government.

The number of road fatalities for the January-June, 2020 period in Bulgaria has gone down by almost 40%, of injuries – by one-quarter. 

The number of major traffic accidents on the territory of the country for the same period is 2,371, with 173 fatalities and 2,945 injuries, an Interior Ministry report reads.

Covid-19 hampers development of 20% of small businesses in Bulgaria

More than 20% of small and medium-sized businesses in Bulgaria are finding it difficult to resume production in the Covid crisis. They have infrastructure and staff, but no working capital. More than 75% of small and medium-sized enterprises have non-performing bank loans and only about 15% of them have found new opportunities for development in the crisis. The data are from a study by the National Association of Small and Medium-sized Businesses.

Companies related to online services, retail trade, home deliveries and digitalization are successfully going through the pandemic, but those in the traditional sectors are suffering severe consequences and do not even have a strategy on how to limit their losses, the chairman of the association Eleonora Negulova told BNR.

Compiled by Darina Grigorova and RB's news team

You can find all stories and important publications related to Covid-19 in Bulgaria at our special coverage section in English.

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