Government: No coronavirus in Bulgaria, PM urges people not to panic

There is no confirmed case of coronavirus in Bulgaria, it was reiterated at a special meeting of the Cabinet on February 28.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov lashed out at the “yellow press, haters and fake news” that claimed that there was coronavirus in Bulgaria but that this was being hushed up.

There was coronavirus in “almost all” countries, and there was nothing shameful in that, Borissov said. There was no point and no logic in hushing up an outbreak, he said.

General Ventsislav Mutafchiyski said: “To date, we have no confirmed case, of a Bulgarian citizen or a foreign national, in Bulgaria with a coronavirus infection”. Updated information was posted daily on the Ministry of Health website, he said.

Borissov urged people not to panic and not to panic-buy food.

Bulgaria’s national day on March 3 is approaching, but Mutafchiyski said that there was no reason to recommend a ban on festivities at this stage, adding however that it would be good to limit indoor gatherings.

Stocks of test kits were regularly replenished and there was no shortage, the Cabinet meeting was told. Borissov said that he could allocate 50 million leva (about 25 million euro) for all the measures envisaged at this stage.

Mutafchiyski said that inter-laboratory tests would be carried out on February 28 to cross-check results. He said that the test kits being used in Bulgaria were precisely the same as those being used elsewhere in the European Union. Inter-laboratory cross-checks on test results were standard practice in Europe, he said.

Separately, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said that as of 9am Eastern European Time on February 28, there were 83 396 cases of new coronavirus worldwide. There had been 2858 deaths.

The ECDC said that as of February 28, 815 cases and 19 deaths have been reported in the EU/EEA, the UK, San Marino and Switzerland: Italy (650), Germany (47), France (38), Spain (25), United Kingdom (16), Switzerland (8), Sweden (7), Austria (5), Norway (4), Croatia (3), Greece (3), Finland (2), Belgium (1), Denmark (1), Romania (1), Estonia (1), San Marino (1), the Netherlands (1) and Lithuania (1). Seventeen deaths have been reported in Italy; two deaths have been reported in France.




The Sofia Globe staff

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