Coronavirus: Person who arrived in Varna from China being monitored, Bulgaria’s Health Minister says

A person who arrived at Varna Airport from China and who had been found to have a slight increase in body temperature was being monitored in hospital, Health Minister Kiril Ananiev told a February 3 briefing on steps being taken by Bulgaria against new coronavirus.

Tests on the two students who were repatriated from China to Bulgaria at the weekend had shown negative for coronavirus, there was no fever or complications, but the two would remain quarantined for 14 days. Doctors would carry out further tests after six to seven days “to make sure,” Ananiev said.

Ananiev was speaking after inspecting the system and equipment at Sofia Airport to check arriving passengers for raised temperatures and other possible symptoms of coronavirus.

At Sofia, Varna and Bourgas airports, all passengers go through thermal checks. Anyone found to have a temperature above 37 degrees Celsius is taken to an isolation room to complete a questionnaire and undergo a medical examination.

The individual is provided with a leaflet outlining what further action is to be taken. People with temperature are discharged through a separate outlet, from where they can be taken by a medical vehicle to a designated hospital in each city – the Military Medical Academy in Sofia, St Marina University Hospital in Varna and University Hospital Bourgas.

Ananiev said that special attention was being paid to flights from Istanbul, Moscow and Doha.

He said that a new thermal camera was being set up at Sofia Airport Terminal 1. It was undergoing software tests and would be put into use on February 3.

By Friday, three more heat measuring devices would be received, for the airports in Varna and Bourgas and one spare for Sofia Airport. Until then, thermometric control was being done using mobile equipment.

As regarding entry to Bulgaria by sea, Ananiev said that regulations had been changed. Up to now, health authorities had been the last of the inspecting services to board an arriving vessel. Now they were first.

In an update as of 10am Bulgarian time on February 3, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said that worldwide there were 17 383 lab-confirmed cases of new coronavirus. There had been 362 deaths, one outside China, in the Philippines. Twenty-five cases had been reported in Europe, the centre said.

(Photo: Bulgaria’s Health Ministry)



The Sofia Globe staff

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