Bulgaria’s caretaker Cabinet approved 64.1 million leva in funding for the Health Ministry at its sitting on October 28.
The bulk of the money, 38.6 million leva, would go towards additional remuneration for medical and other frontline staff engaged in “carrying out the activities related to the measures to prevent and fight Covid-19,” the government media service said.
The additional remuneration was required as a result of extending the epidemic declaration to November 30, the Cabinet statement said.
Monthly bonuses of 1000 leva for frontline medical personnel were “an effective and stable measure to manage the spread of Covid-19 and a significant factor to motivate medical staff,” the statement said.
A sum of 12.5 million leva was allocated for maintaining the necessary reserves of medicines in hospitals and to prevent any shortages due to the ongoing Covid-19 epidemic declaration.
The Cabinet also approved 13 million leva for the purchase of 1.6 million rapid antigen tests, of a non-invasive kind, to screen school pupils in grades one to four. This amount would allow the testing of all primary school pupils twice a week for a period of one month, the government media service said.
Bulgaria’s Health Ministry has already called a tender to buy up to 400 000 such tests, as reported by The Sofia Globe here.
The European Commission said on October 28 that it has approved a 72 million leva, or about 36.8 million euro, Bulgarian scheme to support the agricultural sector affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
The scheme was aimed to aid farmers breeding large and small ruminants, bee keepers, as well as fruit and vegetables growers through direct grants to reduce liquidity shortages.
In a statement, the Commission said that the programme met the conditions set out in the state aid temporary framework because the grant amounts were capped at 225 000 euro per beneficiary and limited until December 31 2021.
October 27 marks 10 months since Bulgaria began its campaign of vaccination against Covid-19.
The update on vaccine rollout posted by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) on October 27 showed that while the EU-EEA figure for at least one dose having been administered was 80.2 per cent, in Bulgaria it was only 26.6 per cent.
Across the EU-EEA, the figure for having completed the vaccination cycle was 75 per cent, but in Bulgaria was 25 per cent, according to the ECDC.
The October 27 report by Bulgaria’s unified information portal said that a total of 2 775 555 doses of vaccines against Covid-19 have been administered in Bulgaria to date. The report said that 1 466 012 people in Bulgaria had completed the vaccination cycle.
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