(DF) Education Minister Denkov: No Way Children Can Return to School before November 8

October 30 (BTA) – Caretaker Education and Science Minister Nikolai Denkov is quoted by his Ministry as telling bTV here on Saturday that he does not see how children can return to school before November 8. Denkov explained that students will go back to class when the safest possible environment and testing is ensured for them. He said that it would be dangerous for children to be back in class, given the high COVID-19 morbidity right now, because they also get infected and sometimes become seriously ill. “We have no choice, given the current morbidity. We will have to either get children sick in schools or ensure a safe environment,” the Minister said. Asked whether there will be a lockdown, Denkov said that this is yet to be decided on. What the data show is that there is a relative stability of morbidity in recent days, despite the increase from last week. “Weare once again on the verge of seeing if the curve will go up or down. What happens in the next two weeks will be crucial for a possible lockdown,” he said. *** The Health Ministry reported earlier on Saturday that 28 offers for COVID-19 tests that are comfortable to administer have been opened in the presence of the special commission, journalists and representatives of the Education Ministry. The Health Ministry published an invitation on October 26 to all interested parties for thepurchase of rapid antigen tests that are not invasive when administered for the purpose of screening students in grades 1 to 4. The purpose is to allow in-class attendance. Up to 400,000 saliva sample tests are needed. Every participant can offer different quantities of tests, depending on their ability to supply them within three businessdays after the contract is signed. The criteris for selecting a contractor are the lowest price per unit and the shortest possible period to supply the tests. There are no restrictions when it comes to how many contractors can be involved. RY/MY /МЙ/