Coronavirus: Bulgaria’s government proposes declaration of State of Emergency

Meeting in emergency session late at night on March 12, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s Cabinet agreed to ask Parliament to declare a national State of Emergency to deal with Covid-19 new coronavirus.

The total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 new coronavirus in Bulgaria now adds up to 23, counting in the 66-year-old woman who died on Wednesday and a total of 16 new cases, the national crisis staff against coronavirus said on the evening of March 12.

“The announcement of a State of Emergency will allow schools, kindergartens, universities, sports events, conferences to be closed,” Borissov said.

He said that coronavirus was not that deadly “but the panic is great”.

Such a declaration could involve a ban on Bulgarians travelling to countries subject to a travel ban. Citizens of at-risk countries would be barred from entering Bulgaria.

Borisssov said that nightclubs and bars should be closed immediately. Closing restaurants was a matter of dispute: “There are a lot of workers who still need to eat”.

He said that his government wanted a state of emergency “to use both the police and the army so that we can take action against those who, for example, do not want to comply with a quarantine”.

Schools and universities, where possible, could go over to distance learning, Borissov said.

He estimated that the losses to Bulgaria’s economy because of Covid-19 could amount to three billion leva.



The Sofia Globe staff

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