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COVID-19 in Bulgaria: Day 19

Photo: EPA/BGNES

21 new COVID-19 cases in Bulgaria

This brings the number of coronavirus cases in Bulgaria up to 264. Two new towns have been added to the list of towns with the infection – Kardzhali and Haskovo. Eight people have been released from hospital after testing negative twice, one more patient is expected to be released tomorrow. Two of the people who have tested positive are servicemen.

Measures to curb the epidemic in Bulgaria extended until 12 April

Bulgaria's Health Minister Kiril Ananiev has extended the anti-epidemic measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Bulgaria until April 12. Until that date all schools and kindergarten will remain closed. The ban on going to parks and gardens remains in place. People aged under 60 must not go to groceries and pharmacies between 8.30 AM and 10.30 am. Travelling between regional towns also remains restricted. In connection with the restrictive measures, Bulgaria's Education Minister Krassimir Valchev said that the current school year will not be declared a "zero" one. The ministry is not planning to postpone the dates of matriculation exams as yet, the minister added.

Bulgarian consular offices temporarily stop issuing personal documents

Due to the emergency situation connected with the spread of the coronavirus, the Bulgarian consular offices have temporarily stopped providing non-emergency services, including issuing new or renewing personal documents, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced. If the need arises of an urgent return to Bulgaria every Bulgarian consular office has been instructed to issue a temporary passport.

Bulgarian parliament suspends regular sittings

The Bulgarian National Assembly suspended its regular sittings over the coronavirus pandemic. The Bulgarian MPs will only gather to vote legislation connected with the state of emergency and urgent regulatory amendments. According to the Parliament’s rules of procedure, the National Assembly sittings can be summoned by the President of the National Assembly at any time - at the initiative of the Parliament Speaker, at the request of one-fifth of all MPs, by a minimum of 48 MPs, at the request of the Bulgarian President and the Bulgarian Council of Ministers.

Bulgaria and Hungary call for better coordination of transport corridors

A decision is needed by the EU Council on the European Commission recommendation to ensure fast transit corridors, especially for basic necessities, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva at a briefing with Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó.

In the words of Minister Zaharieva, being an external border of the EU, Bulgaria has already experienced the challenges of providing fast transit corridors. This country, jointly with Turkey, is making efforts to prevent the blocking of commodities passing from Europe to Turkey and in the opposite direction. Péter Szijjártó laid emphasis on the need for better coordination among the countries so as to resolve the problem of freight truck congestion at borders.

Financial incentives for medical workers

EUR 30,68 million (60 million Leva) is being allocated in support of medical and non-medical staff on the front line in the fight against COVID-19, under an agreement signed by the Ministry of Health under the Operational Programme ''Human Resources Development''. The money is expected to reach around 14,000 staff who will have EUR 511 (1,000 Leva) added to their monthly salaries as early as March. Under the project additional staff can be hired to fight COVID-19. The purchase of personal and collective protective equipment is envisaged to prevent infection with COVID-19.

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

You can also follow all latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak and all measures in Bulgaria in all other 8 languages of Radio Bulgaria.

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