COVID-19 in Bulgaria: Full Lockdown if Measures Do not Work in the Next 10-15 Days
The European Commission has proposed that Bulgaria can transport COVID-19 patients to other countries if necessary. This plan has already been discussed between the Minister of Health Stoycho Katsarov and the European Commissioner for Health.
"The worst-case scenario for our country is to deplete the capacity of hospitals and they will not be able to accept patients," Minister Katsarov told Awake. According to him, the current wave should be controlled in 10-15 days.
"In 10-15 days we will have a big problem. Yesterday we had a meeting with the directors of the hospitals in Sofia, they are constantly opening new beds, but the capacity both as people and as respirators is almost exhausted", explained Dr. Katsarov. There were no respirators in the State Reserve either. Promises that we will receive such came from the World Bank.
"I also talked to the health commissioner the other day, who proposed this emergency response plan. If we get there, we can transport patients for treatment in other countries," Katsarov said.
"I do not want to scare people, but the situation is extremely serious and this has forced us to resort to such measures, which are clearly not popular," said Dr. Katsarov. If the measures are boycotted by the people, they will not work, the minister added.
"If the measures do not work for the next 10-15 days, the only alternative to the measures is a complete lockdown," said Minister Katsarov. If the measures work, children in grades 1 to 4 will return to school first. "This is the first thing that will happen," the minister promised.
He also commented on the controversial issue of why restaurants work and children do not go to school.
"Yes, it's a paradox. But with one significant difference. When entering a restaurant with a document, where everyone in this place has such a document - this is already a safe environment, such requirements have not been introduced in schools," explained Minister Katsarov.
"The plan enrolls up to 500 per 100,000 patients, we have increased this limit to 750 per 100,000. Now in Sofia it passes 900 per 100,000, so this opportunity to visit in an organized manner is not possible. There is a lot of resistance from parents to test their children, and that's also something you can't ignore. The question was asked about tests through the nose, I said that while I am a minister, I will not allow small children to be confused in their noses by anyone. We are now discussing other options for gentle tests for children, we are discussing them with parents, the Ministry of Education. If we agree on such an approach, I am ready to introduce such an approach and return the children," said the Minister.
"The option we are discussing right now is whether parents and teachers would agree to introduce what we have introduced elsewhere by testing people with sparing tests. But if this is not accepted, we have no other option," Katsarov said. "If this approach is adopted, it is impossible for teachers not to show a document that they have been ill, that they have been vaccinated or tested."
Kindergartens and nurseries will not be closed under any circumstances.
From Monday, those who got sick more than half a year ago and those with an antigen test will be able to get a certificate with the number they received during the test and with a PIN. If they can't do it on the Internet themselves, they can do it where the test is done, in a laboratory or RHI.
"The opinions of most experts are that antibodies are not proof that you are infected. They are not sure proof. This is the opinion of most experts. There is information that the EC is discussing this issue with scientists from different countries. If they consider that this is acceptable, that there is enough scientific evidence, you can be sure that it will be introduced immediately in our country," said the Minister.
The green certificate can also be imposed on the employees at the counters. The issue is currently being discussed.
People who will check for compliance with the measures must also have green certificates.
There will be no compulsory vaccination during the elections
"To date, we do not envisage different measures from those of the previous elections," Katsarov explained.
There are enough vaccines for everybody. He also commented on the fake certificates.
"If we do not understand the seriousness of the problem, no rules will help us. It is a matter of people's consciousness, of empathy, to understand that they concern us. To save yourself and your loved ones. "If we don't understand it now, nothing will happen," the minister said.
Regarding the tests, Dr. Katsarov explained that they will be free, but the sampling will be paid.
"The maximum price is BGN 10, I hope it will be lower. Laboratories cannot ask for more than BGN 10, they can ask less. At the moment, contracts are being signed with the laboratories they want ", said Minister Katsarov.
There is not a single contraindication for vaccines, even in autoimmune diseases, the minister explained.
"Some people tell me that their GP advises them not to get vaccinated because they have diabetes or cancer. In fact, this is a reason to get vaccinated because you are at risk. So let's stick to science. Science has approved a brief description of the medicinal product," said Dr. Katsarov.
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