Bulgaria expands categories of people to be tested for new coronavirus

There continue to be no confirmed cases of Covid-19 new coronavirus in Bulgaria, an evening briefing on March 3 was told.

On March 13, 19 samples were tested at the Military Medical Academy and four at the National Reference Laboratory at Bulgaria’s National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases. All test results were negative.

Chief State Health Inspector Associate Professor Angel Kunchev said that the crisis staff against new coronavirus had decided to extend tests for Covid-19 to a wider range of individuals.

The tests would cover between 150 and 200 patients with viral infections in infectious illness treatment wards at health care facilities, Kunchev said.

Although their virus infections were probably because of the currently circulating Type B influenza in Bulgaria, the step was being taken pre-emptively to prevent any possible gap in the isolation of a possible case of the new coronavirus in Bulgaria, he said.

By order of the Minister of Health, Kiril Ananiev, the list of monitored countries, now China and Italy, would be expanded to include South Korea and Iran, given the rise in confirmed cases in the latter two countries.

As the main entry points from Iran to Bulgaria were the border checkpoints at Malko Turnovo and Lesovo, medical checkpoints would be added there, Kunchev said.

Turkey is donating to Bulgaria various items, including high-grade respirator masks, standard surgical masks and gloves, goggles, protective clothing and other items, as well as kits to test for new coronavirus. This was agreed between Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a meeting in Ankara on the evening of March 2.

Crisis staff chief General Ventsislav Mutafchiyski told the March 3 briefing that the equipment would arrive in Bulgaria, at the Military Medical Academy in Sofia, in up to two days.

The crisis staff against new coronavirus holds briefings for the media twice daily, at 8am and 5pm.

Useful links:

The European Commission’s page on coronavirus response.

The World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe’s page on the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s page with updates and factiles on new coronavirus.



The Sofia Globe staff

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