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Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Day 325

Photo: BGNES

Bulgarian government extends emergency epidemic situation until end of April

The emergency epidemic situation in Bulgaria has been extended until April 30. The cabinet has approved the decision, and Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has ordered the health minister to draw up clearly set deadlines for the gradual easing of restrictive measures. 

Regarding the work of restaurants and bars, the Prime Minister has asked the Minister of Health to meet with representatives of the sector and discuss possible scenarios for their reopening.

The government has provided 1 billion euros from the start of the pandemic until January 2021 to preserve jobs and help businesses in Bulgaria. These financial support measures have saved 300,000 jobs. This prevents the risk of a two-fold rise of unemployment in the country, BTA reported.

Dr. Skender Sila: I hope the vaccination against Covid-19 in Bulgaria will be accelerated

The lifting of the restrictive measures against Covid-19 must be done very carefully and under strict control, Dr. Skender Sila, a representative of the World Health Organization for Bulgaria, warns in an interview with BNR. According to him, a balance must be found between public health and the economy. 

Skender Sila expressed hope that in the coming weeks and months the vaccination of the population in Bulgaria would be accelerated. Asked whether it would be enough to vaccinate 2 to 2.5 million people in Bulgaria by the end of the year, as expected by the National Coronavirus Response Staff, Dr. Sila said that this number would mean that a very large percentage of people from the vulnerable groups would be immunized, which would improve the situation.

Bulgaria reports 772 new coronavirus cases out of 13,540 tests performed

772 new cases of coronavirus infection have been registered in Bulgaria for the past 24 hours, indicates data of the Single Information Portal published at midnight.

5.7% of a total of 13,540 tests returned positive result. 60 people with coronavirus have passed away and 1,059 have recovered.

2,822 patients with Covid-19 infection remain in hospital, 279 of them are in intensive care wards.

The total number of vaccinated Bulgarians has reached 26,798. According to Euronews, this is about 366 people per 100,000. According to estimates by Brussels-based media "Politico", at this rate of vaccination 70% of the population would be vaccinated in 2040.

Patients' Organization: Efforts against Covid-19 should be targeted at vulnerable groups

In Bulgaria, organization of the vaccination process is not good and there are not enough vaccines for everyone. That is why it is most important for this country to vaccinate and protect the chronically-ill citizens and the elderly first, because they are the most endangered, Dr. Stanimir Hasurdjiev, Chairman of the National Patients' Organization, said in an interview with the Bulgarian National Radio.

Pharmaceutical companies would not be able to produce the required amount of vaccines for a year and it is important that our efforts focus on the vulnerable, so that we can return to normal life faster, added Dr. Stanimir Hasurdjiev.

Restaurants in Bulgaria to reopen on March 1

Restaurants and cafeterias in Bulgaria will reopen on March 1. Nightclubs are expected to reopen after March 14. This was agreed in a meeting between the owners of restaurants and other catering establishments and the Minister of Health Prof. Kostadin Angelov. Representatives of the restaurant sector stated that they found understanding in the talks with the Minister, the website 24chasa.bg writes.

"Most of the issues to be resolved are rather economic and are not for discussion with the Minister of Health. We commented and specified the parameters - we reopen the restaurants on March 1 and we want predictability. The Minister has promised that by the end of January absolutely all benefits and compensations will be paid to absolutely all establishments ", explained Zlatko Zlatanov, Deputy Chairman of the Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association.

Tobacco growers call for financial aid because of Covid-19

The National Association of Tobacco Producers has called for state aid for the sector in 2021 under the de minimis scheme. The topic was discussed during today's Tobacco Advisory Council.

Tobacco growers were not included in the financial support scheme under the three Covid measures implemented by Bulgaria last year, aimed at supporting various sectors in agriculture because of losses caused by the pandemic. The reason - this is EU money and Europe does not stimulate tobacco growing.

The total amount of state aid under the de minimis scheme that a farmer can receive is 25,000 euros for a period of three consecutive tax years.

Mass Covid-19 testing of university lecturers and non-teaching staff begins

University lecturers and non-teaching staff are to undergo Covid-19 testing. This was announced after a meeting held between representatives of the Council of Rectors and the Ministry of Health. Coronavirus testing for people employed in this sphere is voluntary and free of charge, this country’s Ministry of Health reminds.

Compiled by: Gergana Mancheva and Radio Bulgaria’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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