Doctor Simidchiev: Pandemic Is Like Fire
The pandemic is a bit like a fire. The number of infected people on a daily basis shows how intensely this fire burns. Currently, the levels to which the number of cases in Bulgaria have dropped are higher than the number of cases between the two big peaks of the Covid-19 epidemic and much higher than they were before the second peak in the country, pulmonologist Dr. Alexander Simidchiev, former chairman of the Health Committee in the 45th National Assembly told BNT.
He explained that the number of cases in the country on a daily basis is at a level where should not be completely calm about the situation. He added that people should carefully follow what is happening.
"It is worrying what is happening in countries like India, Sudan, Nepal, although they are very far away. But the main point of travel between Europe and India is Ankara, and Ankara is very close to Bulgaria as an airport. Therefore, we should very carefully monitor the possible emergence of virus strains that could enter our country across borders," Simidchiev commented.
The pulmonologist explained that currently, in the UK, the incidence is mainly with the Indian variant of the virus - in a very short period of time it has increased from 1 to 11%.
According to him, we are all fed up, but in order not to fall into another cycle, we need to think a little more strategically and in the longer term.
"The Covid-19 associated death rate in Bulgaria was high during the second and third peaks. Bulgaria is in second place in terms of mortality in Europe, how well we have done or not, we can look back on some key parameters like this. How we deal with the situation in the future depends on the speed of vaccination," said Dr. Simidchiev.
As at today, the administered doses of vaccines in our country have already exceeded 1 million. But this is only 1/6 of the population in Bulgaria, a rather low percentage compared to other countries, according to the pulmonologist.
"The peculiarity of this virus is that it tries to play with our immune system, as a result of which, the immune systems does not always build lasting immunity to protect us for a long time, so it is possible to get infected with the virus again," he added.
According to him, we should try to restore the economy and tourism within this new reality, but this can only happen if we rely on science. We also need to look at countries in the world, where policies in the fight against coronavirus were successful and implement them - for example, countries like Australia, New Zealand, even China.
Is it possible to have a new lockdown, tighten the measures and a new wave?
"It will depend on what the virus will do, and it has only one goal - to live by infecting more and more susceptible hosts. If we allow this to happen, we will not be able to cope," Simidchiev replied.
He expressed hope that the new team in the ministry of health would remove some of the populist decisions and leave those which really work. Having a task force, he said, was a way to focus attention and data in one place, and it served as an advisory body to the minister to make decisions.
Dr. Simidchiev also commented on the caretaker Minister of Health Stoycho Katsarov."I saw his opinions evolve overtime, because his early opinion was that there was no such pandemic and that it was a political project, but in fact he finally started to see the real data. He is a person, who works with data and he can also see the suffering of the people, who were infected," Simidchiev said.
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