Crisis staff: 163 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Bulgaria, private hospital temporarily quarantined

There are 163 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Bulgaria, 103 of them in capital city Sofia, crisis staff chief Major-General Ventsislav Mutafchiyski told a briefing at 5pm on March 21.

The national total of 163 includes the three elderly people who died between March 11 and 19, and three patients who had recovered and had been discharged from hospital.

Eight people in Bulgaria between the ages of 20 and 50 have severe symptoms. “No one has ever claimed that this virus does not strike young people,” he said.

Mutafchiyski criticised what he called a carelessness still observed on the streets and in the centres of cities.

The briefing was told that there was a case at the Acibadem City Clinic Tokuda Hospital, a young man with double pneumonia in the pulmonary ward. Disinfection was being carried out and people who had been in contact with the patient were being sought. The hospital would be closed temporarily while this process was being completed. A clean corridor had been provided for haemodialysis patients and emergency births.

The hospital is the second private hospital in Sofia to be placed under quarantine, after some days earlier, two cases were confirmed at Sofiamed Hospital. Sofiamed currently remains under quarantine.

Mutfachiyski said that he could not say when the peak of the Covid-19 disease in Bulgaria would be.

On March 21, Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry made available a declaration form for those who need to undertake intercity travel in case of urgent need – work, medical reasons or returning to their permanent registered address. An order by the Minister of Health allows intercity travel only for these reasons.

The ministry said on its website that the declaration was produced to avoid unnecessary clusters and queues of people in front of municipal buildings and the counters of the Bulgarian Identity Documents Directorate to change their registered address and have it shown on their identity cards.

The ministry posted a pdf of the form on its website. The declaration form is available only in Bulgarian.

Interior Minister Mladen Marinov said on Saturday that attempts had been detected to sell counterfeit disinfectants, and an attempt to smuggle 30 tons of medicinal alcohol had been stopped.

He said that there had been an increase in the number of people violating their quarantine. More than 7000 people had been quarantined and there currently were more than 60 pre-trial proceedings for breaking quarantine.

Marinov said that those under quarantine included police officers. At this stage there were only a few. “Our people are on the front line, all leave is stopped,” he said, expressing thanks to the police now on the street and on duty.

Photo: Interior Ministry press centre.

“We have no room to retreat and in order to make it, we need the mobilisation and energy of all of society,” Marinov said.



The Sofia Globe staff

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