Crisis staff chief: No confirmed cases of new coronavirus in Bulgaria

There are no confirmed cases of new coronavirus in Bulgaria, crisis staff chief General Ventsislav Mutafchiyski told a regular briefing on February 26.

About 20 people have been quarantined at various hospitals in the country with mild symptoms after returning from Italy and other at-risk countries, Mutafchiyski said.

“Tests from Plovdiv, Sliven and Gabrovo, all of which were negative, were completed yesterday, including regarding two patients from the Military Medical Academy, who remain quarantined,” he said.

Later, on the evening of February 26, the Health Ministry announced that all tests from Stara Zagora, Haskovo, Shoumen and Bourgas had come in negative. Test results from Rousse were expected on February 27.

On Tuesday night, two people who had arrived from abroad were placed in monitoring at the Military Medical Academy after showing mild symptoms, Mutafchiyski said.

The psychiatric ward at the Military Medical Academy is being temporarily closed and 40 beds placed there in case of need.

District governors had been instructed to convene meetings of regional medical councils on February 26 to get up-to-date information on the response options of all hospitals in the country.

The crisis staff emphasised that there was no justification for panic and Bulgaria’s entire health system was being mobilised to respond to new coronavirus.

Staff said that the flu epidemic was continuing in parts of Bulgaria and said that people who had flu-like symptoms should not panic, but consult a doctor.

On February 26, Bulgarian website Mediapool quoted Daniela Stoeva, head of the Association of Bulgarian Tour Operators and Tourism Agencies, as saying that hotels and restaurants were refusing to admit tour groups from Japan, Malaysia and South Korea.

Hoteliers were unilaterally cancelling reservations, even though some had been made last year, she said, condemning the move as likely to show Bulgaria as intolerant.

Bulgarian media reported on February 26 that a journalist who had been one of a group scheduled to fly to Greece with Prime Minister Boiko Borissov for a joint meeting of the Bulgarian and Greek governments was barred from the government aircraft because she was coughing.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said in a regular daily update that as at 9am Eastern European Time on February 26, there were 81 027 cases of new coronavirus worldwide.

A total of 2763 deaths had been reported. There were 381 cases in the EU/EEA and UK, the centre said.

In a separate report, it said that as of February 25, a total of 276 cases and seven deaths had been reported in the EU/EEA and the UK.

This latter total included 229 cases in Italy (three imported, 226 locally acquired), 16 cases in Germany (two imported, 14 locally acquired), 13 cases in the United Kingdom (12 imported, one locally acquired), 12 cases in France (five imported, seven locally acquired), three cases in Spain (three imported), one case in Belgium (imported), one case in Finland (imported), one case in Sweden (imported).

Six deaths had been reported in Italy; one death had been reported in France, the ECDC said.



The Sofia Globe staff

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