About 200 volunteers so far have come forward to help at Alexandrovska Hospital in Sofia, executive director Associate Professor Kostadin Angelov said on March 17.
The largest group were medical students, while others came from all walks of life – including students in other subjects, IT specialists, rock climbers and mountain rescue volunteers, Angelov said.
Depending on the needs and the workload of the hospital, further volunteers from among medical students would be sought.
At Second City Hospital in Sofia, the subject of a contingency plan to transform it to host an infectious diseases treatment facility, 85 medical professionals had submitted their resignations by 4pm on March 16, Bulgarian National Radio reported.
Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova was scheduled to meet the management of the hospital on March 17.
According to a report by bTV, the doctors have submitted their resignations because they do not consider themselves prepared to work with infectious diseases. They had not been prepared for this, the hospital had not had specialists with this kind of profile for years, and the reallocation of the wards would destroy a well-functioning medical establishment.
The Bulgarian Dental Association published an open letter saying that a large part of the 10 000 dentists in Bulgaria are willing to assist as medics.
The association also called for the state to provide dentists with protective equipment, with masks as a priority, followed by disposable aprons, disposable headgear, and for disinfection of their clinics.
Association chairperson Dr Nikolai Sharkov said that most dental offices would not close, but people should come only if in pain or otherwise in event of emergency.
“We are continuing to work, but we urge patients: Please contact your dentist only in an emergency, and this should be done by phone,” Sharkov said.
The association said that when the government decides on financial support for small and medium-sized businesses, it should include dental medical care.
For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria, please click here.
Useful links for factual information:
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.
(Archive photo: US Air Force)