Schools in the Bulgarian capital Sofia and municipalities in five other districts will switch to distance education from October 21, following a decree issued by the Interim Minister of Education Nikolai Denkov.
This follows the order issued by the Interim Minister of Health Stoicho Katsarov, which says that schools in municipalities where the Covid-19 morbidity rate is 750 or more per 100,000 population on a 14-day basis must switch from in-person education to distance education.
In Sofia, the operational headquarters had sent a proposal to Denkov and Katsarov that if the order were to apply to the fifth to the 12e classes immediately, students in grades 1 to 4 must continue face-to-face lessons at least until the end of the week.
The Sofia Municipality cited data on the quarantined classes and the extremely short period before Katsarov’s order took effect as the basis for its case. He said allowing primary classes to continue until the end of the week would allow parents of younger students to make arrangements.
In Sofia, four percent of primary phase classes are quarantined, seven percent of lower secondary classes and eight percent of secondary classes.
Sofia Kindergartens and Nurseries will continue to operate in person. The municipality said the recorded percentage of kindergarten children quarantined was just over three percent.
However, Denkov’s ordinance covers all classes in the schools, which means that Sofia’s request does not appear to have been granted.
An October 20 meeting of the operational headquarters in Sofia was informed that directors of municipal hospitals and social service centers had reported a serious problem with the organization of work due to Katsarov’s order, which required that the staff of the hospitals and social services have green certificates.
“A significant percentage of the staff do not have the necessary certificates to ensure the functioning of all departments and services tomorrow,” the municipality said in a statement.
In the coming days, the Municipality of Sofia will organize additional vaccination points, according to the statement.
The head of the Sofia sanitary inspectorate, Dr Dancho Penchev, said the morbidity recorded in Sofia on a 14-day basis was 812 per 100,000 people.
Apart from Sofia, the other five districts where the Covid-19 morbidity rate exceeds 750 per 100,000 inhabitants are – according to the October 20 update by the Unified Information Portal – Vidin (978.92), Gabrovo (827, 13), Kyustendil (768.31), Montana (910.72) and Pernik (927.54).
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