Covid-19: Bulgaria to begin mass testing of teachers on January 25

Mass testing of teachers for Covid-19 will begin on January 25 so that an assessment can be made whether and how to resume in-person classes, Health Minister Kostadin Angelov said on January 13.

Bulgaria’s government announced on January 12, as The Sofia Globe reported, that until the end of this month, upper-year pupils and university students would attend in person only practical lessons that cannot be held in an electronic environment.

Pupils in Bulgaria in the first to fourth grades resumed in-person classes on January 4.

Angelov said that the plan for all teachers in Bulgaria to undergo tests for Covid-19 had been agreed with Education Minister Krassimir Vulchev. Antigen tests will be used.

The Health Minister said that a change to the anti-epidemic measures was being considered, to take effect from the beginning of February.

Separately, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said that he would meet the national operational headquarters on January 14 to discuss the data on the Covid-19 situation in the country and the future of the anti-epidemic measures.

Angelov said that the first phase of Covid-19 vaccination would end at the end of January.

After that, the second phase would begin, at old-age homes and among teachers. About 21 per cent of those in old-age homes had said that they wanted to be vaccinated, Angelov said.

He said that there was a sufficient number of doctors, including general practitioners, in Bulgaria to carry out vaccinations.

About 16 500 vaccines had been used so far, he said.

“We expect about 35 000 Pfizer doses on January 18. There are enough vaccines for everyone,” Angelov said.

The Health Ministry, which last week posted a provisional schedule for the arrival of a million Pfizer-BioNTech and 500 000 Moderna vaccines, underlined that the schedule could change depending on the production capacity of the companies.

Bulgaria expects to receive 4.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. An expert committee of the European Medicines Agency is expected to meet on January 29 on AstraZeneca’s application for conditional marketing approval of its Covid-19 vaccine.

For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria, please click here.

The Sofia Globe’s coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria is supported by the Embassies of Switzerland and Finland.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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