Bulgarian Government: Another 42,000 Schoolchildren Resume in-Person Learning Today, Additional BGN 120 Million Allocated for Business Support

Society | February 15, 2021, Monday // 14:58
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Government: Another 42,000 Schoolchildren Resume in-Person Learning Today, Additional BGN 120 Million Allocated for Business Support

As of today, another 42,000 students from junior high and high school study in attendance, reported Minister of Education and Science Krasimir Valchev during a working meeting convened by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov with representatives of the National Operational Headquarters, the vaccination task force and ministers.

Minister Valchev informed that nearly 2,900 grades in the country are already being taught in person as a result of yesterday's order of the Minister of Health."Currently, a total of 460,000 children attend classrooms, and 260,000 study remotely. Besides, there are 240,000 preschool children who attend kindergartens," said Minister Valchev.

Prime Minister Borissov was adamant that in-person training is of great importance to students. With regard to vaccination, the Prime Minister stressed the importance of the process going as quickly as possible. "The vaccine is our weapon and we must return to normal life soon, that's what people expect of us," Borissov said.

The CEO of the Bulgarian Drug Agency, Bogdan Kirilov, reports that the regular delivery and distribution of vaccines on the territory of the country is underway.

In the last four days alone, we have received nearly 60,000 doses and expect another 240,000 doses by the end of February. We already have a notification from the three companies for deliveries in March - they are expected to be over 500,000 doses, which will allow to speed up the vaccination process and in the coming weeks it will become clear when the fourth phase of the vaccination program will start, "said Kirilov.

He pointed out that there is a real chance that by the middle of the year there will be another five vaccines approved for use, based on which there are forecasts for the possible number of vaccinated people by the middle of the year.

Minister of Health Kostadin Angelov pointed out that vaccines have been set aside for the election administration so as to ensure the normal course of the election process.With regard to the new strains of COVID-19, and in particular that of the United Kingdom, Minister Angelov reported that out of 98 cases sent to the National Center for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases last week, 68 had a proven new type of virus from the United Kingdom.

The President of the National Operational Headquarters, Ventsislav Mutafchiiski, reports on the beds currently occupied in hospitals and intensive care units. For his part, Pirogov emergency hospital’s director, Asen Baltov, said Pirogov was ready to open additional vaccination sites, including mobile teams.

Bulagria ranks 25th in terms of morbidity in Europe for the last 14 days, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov points out on Facebook. This gives us confidence that the relaxation of the measures we are taking does not lead to a greater spread of the infection and shows that we are exercising effective control over the development of the epidemic in our country, he added.

The fatigue and overload of everyone due to the pandemic is huge and it is extremely important to maintain the right balance, says Boyko Borissov.He reminded that our country has the most lenient measures possible and added that the government takes into account both the health concerns and the needs in the social and economic sphere. "The vaccine is our weapon. We must return to normal life soon - this is what people expect of us and we will do it!" said the Prime Minister.

Currently, 460,000 students attend school nationwide, and 240,000 preschool children attend kindergartens. By the end of February, we expect another 240,000 doses of vaccines, the Prime Minister said.In March, we will receive more than 500,000 doses, which will allow us to start the fourth phase of the vaccination program.

"We have paid BGN 831 million under 60/40 payroll support measure. For the sectors most affected by the pandemic - hotels, restaurants, transport and tourism, we have allocated another BGN 117 million and thus 30,000 jobs have been preserved. As for the measure 75/0,"More than BGN 20,200,000 have been paid for closed businesses so far. Under the measure" Employment for you ", which creates new jobs for the unemployed, 10,692 unemployed people have already been hired. Despite the pandemic, unemployment remains at about 7 percent," he said.

Minister of Labor and Social Policy Denitsa Sacheva informed the Prime Minister Borissov that the vaccination of social services staff continues smoothly and in Sofia it has already been completed.Sacheva also stressed that under the measures of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy for maintaining and creating employment, more than BGN 1 billion have been paid to businesses.

"Under the measure 60/40 we continue to pay - BGN 831 million have already been paid. In the sectors that have suffered the most - hotels, restaurants, transport and tourism, 30,000 jobs have been preserved and by the end of last week BGN 117 million have been paid, " pointed out Minister Sacheva. She also informed that under measure 75/0 for closed businesses 9,384 applications were submitted by employers for 47,945 employees. Under this measure, BGN 20,200,000 have been paid so far for 43,215 employees.

"Last week, the parliament adopted an additional text in the law on measures, which considers 90 working days as unpaid leave and length of service, so that people will not lose their rights, despite companies remaining closed in February," Sacheva said.

During the working meeting, the Minister of Labor and Social Policy pointed out that at the suggestion of the Ombudsman and by a decision of the Prime Minister, a text was adopted in which the funds paid by the state for anti-crisis measures are not sequestrated, i.e.cannot be taken away by private bailiffs."Thus, these funds will remain with the people," Sacheva assured.

Under the measure "Employment for you", which creates new jobs for the unemployed, BGN 10,300,000 have been paid to 2,587 employers and 10,692 jobless are currently employed."For each family whose children study remotely and have applied for aid, we have allocated an average of BGN 900. So far, the applications submitted are BGN 51,550, over BGN 30 million have been paid to 35,700 families," Sacheva added.

On behalf of the Minister of Economy Lachezar Borisov, the Minister of Social Affairs also reports that for the last 30 days about BGN 120 million have reached the business, of which BGN 50 million - through the Bulgarian Development Bank for guaranteeing interest-free loans, mainly for individuals.The remaining BGN 70 million are paid under the Operational Program "Innovation and Competitiveness", which have reached the business through the measure implemented through the NRA, as well as under the procedure for micro-firms and separately only for transport companies.


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