Bulgaria’s Health Minister issues decree in response to Covid-19 cases

Bulgaria’s Health Minister Kiril Ananiev issued a decree on March 8 spelling out numerous steps in response to confirmation of cases of Covid-19 new coronavirus in two towns in the country.

The Dr Georgi Stranski Hospital in Pleven and the Dr Tota Venkova Hospital in Gabrovo have been placed under quarantine.

The quarantine means restricting the access of outsiders to the hospitals, suspension of routine consultations for women and children, and of scheduled non-emergency operations.

In the wards where the patients were confirmed to have Covid-19 new coronavirus, a 14-day quarantine is introduced, with a ban on admission to and discharge from of patients in the affected wards. Stepped-up disinfection of the buildings has been ordered.

Health care facilities have been ordered to comply strictly with prevention and control measures against infections, in line with national legislation and World Health Organization guidelines.

District governors, municipal mayors and the Interior Ministry have been told to monitor implementation of the measures.

In the districts of Pleven and Gabrovo, consultations for women and children, immunisations, planned non-emergency operations and visits to all medical establishments are banned.

In these districts, all large-scale public events, including sports and cultural activities – including cinemas, theatres, concert halls, gyms, among others – are banned.

In all other districts in Bulgaria, all indoor cultural events, including cinemas, are banned. Sports events should be held without the public present. All large-scale events involving children are banned.

Regional health inspectorates have been told to organise, in conjunction with health care facilities, beds, and the work of medical staff.

Separately, Sofia municipality announced on March 8 that its operational staff against coronavirus had ordered further disinfection of public transport vehicles and metro underground railway stations in the Bulgarian capital city.

Railings and seats must be additionally treated with disinfectant.

The Sofia regional health inspectorate reported that no cases of new coronavirus had been confirmed in the city.

Sofia has a number of beds free for treatment and quarantine of people with symptoms of the virus, the municipality said.

Health care facilities in Sofia have the necessary number of medical staff to take on the diagnosis, examination and treatment of citizens, as well as having the necessary individual protective equipment.

Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova ordered Second City Hospital to prepare to take on, if needed, cases of people infected with Covid-19.

The leadership of Pirogov, Alexandrovska, the Military Medical Academy, the Pulmonary Diseases and Infectious Diseases hospitals briefed the meeting on the organisational steps taken and their readiness to respond, the statement said.

Doctors advised people with symptoms of the virus to contact their GP, follow the GP’s instructions strictly, and not go to medical facilities. People who do not have a GP should contact the Sofia regional health inspectorate.

All schools in Sofia continue to be on a “flu vacation”. The “flu vacation” was announced, covering the whole country, to extend from March 6 to 11 inclusive following a sharp increase in cases of Type B influenza.

Kindergartens have been ordered to step up checks of children and staff before they are allowed to enter the premises. Additional disinfection also has been ordered.

The premises of all institutions working with the public must be disinfected four times a day.

The Sofia operational staff called on those in charge of all public buildings, including retail outlets, banks, customer service centres, among others, also to carry out disinfection of the buildings four times a day.

Sofia municipality ordered the cancellation of all large-scale public events, including sports and cultural events.

The municipality called on residents of the city to limit their social contacts, observe good personal hygiene, remain calm and to get their information only from official sources.

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 factfiles on new coronavirus.



The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to sofiaglobe.com's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=32709292