Bulgarian Council of Ministers Discusses Stepwise Loosening of Anti-Epidemic Measures

Society » HEALTH | January 25, 2021, Monday // 12:52
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Council of Ministers Discusses Stepwise Loosening of Anti-Epidemic Measures


The National Operative Headquarters recommended a gradual loosening of anti-epidemic measures in Bulgaria.

During the working meeting that the Prime Minister convened at the Council of Ministers with representatives of the National Operative Headquarters (NOH), the vaccination staff and ministers the reps of NOH motivated their recommendation quoting the data which show that Bulgaria is currently in a very good position: thanks to the stringent preventive measures, the morbidity on a 14-day basis is less than 100 per 100,000 and Bulgaria now is one of the four European countries outside the so-called “red zone”. What is worrisome, though, is the spread of the novel strain of coronavirus, as it has been already detected in Bulgaria too.  

Health Minister Prof. Kostadin Angelov said that today an order will be issued for the mandatory PCR tests on entry into Bulgaria for all citizens coming from third countries and the European Union. The aim is to step-up the security of the Bulgarians with a view to the new version of the coronavirus.

The meeting confirmed the decision to resume in-person learning of school students from 5th to 12th grade under a strictly defined order as of 4 February. From the beginning of February, the gyms, sports facilities, dancing clubs, as well as the stores in the large shopping centers, will be reopened.

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov ordered the Health Minister to hold a meeting with the representatives of restaurants, cafes and nightclubs and to discuss again possible options for resuming their functioning.

"Let them remember, however, that a month ago there were people who died in ambulances, seeking to be admitted to hospital. There were no beds in hospitals," the Prime Minster recalled, stressing that thanks to the measures taken, this had been overcome within weeks. In Borissov's words, if the restaurants resume work now and the number of those infected with coronavirus rises again, they will have to be closed once more, and in that case the state will find it more difficult to pay for their support, because notifications for this will still be needed.

Commenting on the implementation of the vaccination plan, Angelov reported that over 26,000 people have been immunized so far, with 4,610 already given the second dose of the vaccine. In some regions of the country, the vaccination of teachers will begin. The lists of those wishing to be vaccinated during the third phase of the vaccination plan are also being prepared.

The health minister also pointed out that in a maximum of 3-4 days after the arrival of the vaccines, half of the quantities are administered, and the other half is kept for after 21 days, for the second dose. "With these disrupted deliveries, we cannot afford risking people's health," the Prime Minister said.

The Executive Director of the Bulgarian Drug Agency Bogdan Kirilov announced that today more than 14,000 doses of vaccines have arrived in Bulgaria, which will immediately be put into use, and starting from next week the deliveries will be on a weekly basis. The decision of the European Medicines Agency for the third vaccine is also expected.

Kirilov also reported that there were sufficient supplies of Remdesivir, as well as of medical oxygen.

For their part, the Head of the National Operative Headquarters and Director of the Military Medical Academy Gen. Ventsislav Mutafchiiski and the Director of "Pirogov" emergency hospital Asen Baltov announced that the number of hospitalized patients and those in intensive care is decreasing in these medical institutions.

The Director of the National Center for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases and a member of NOH Todor Kantardzhiev noted that there is no medical evidence that the disease caused by new variant of the coronavirus takes more severe course, but it is certainly more contagious.

We remind that last week, restaurateurs said they set a deadline till the end of the week for a decision in their favor. They insist on opening from February 1, otherwise they are ready for protests.

Health Minister Kostadin Angelov was not inclined to agree with the demands for the restaurants to open and said that if people go to restaurants at all they must be alive and well. Prime Minister Borissov previously made it clear that even if there is a loosening of measures from February 1, it is on the condition that there may be a new tightening at any time.

Because of the government’s refusal the restaurateurs planned to stage a protest disco in front of the Council of Ministers on January 27.

Yesterday, representatives of the non-working businesses demanded the resignation of Minister of Labor and Social Policy Denitsa Sacheva because of the anti-epidemic measures.





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