Bulgaria’s Government decided at its sitting on April 1 to ask the National Assembly to extend the State of Emergency, declared on March 13 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, by one month to May 13.
Bulgaria was making every effort possible to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, but the full extent of the crisis could not yet be assessed. The pressure on the healthcare system could only be reduced by extending the social distancing measures, the Cabinet said in a statement.
The statement noted that the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control currently assesses that the risk of severe disease associated with Covid-19 was moderate for the general population, but to keep it at that level, EU member states have to implement strict and effective anti-epidemic measures.
The expert conclusions are that the healthcare systems of EU member states will reach their current maximum capacity, which is why the Cabinet was asking Parliament to extend the State of Emergency, the statement said.
Bulgaria’s National Assembly currently has no scheduled sittings, having suspended all activity, except in cases of legislation related to the State of Emergency.
Parliament was due to sit on April 2 to discuss the 2020 Budget Act revision approved by the Cabinet, earlier this week, but that has been cancelled after an MP tested positive for Covid-19 late on March 31.
All MPs were due to undergo testing on April 1, followed by Parliament staff on April 2. Parliamentary group leaders met on April 1 to discuss the scheduling of National Assembly sittings going forward but were unable to reach a decision, Bulgarian National Television reported.
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(Bulgaria’s Council of Ministers building. Photo: government.bg)