Covid-19 in Bulgaria: 825 confirmed cases, 60 of them medical personnel

The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Bulgaria has risen by 25 to 825 and the death toll is now 40, the national operational headquarters said on April 17.

The two people whose deaths were reported since the April 16 update were a 62-year-old woman, who also had hypertension and diabetes, and a 68-year-old woman who also had Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), ischaemic heart disease and diabetes.

The confirmed cases to date include 60 medical personnel. The 12 new cases include seven at Pirogov emergency hospital in Sofia and five at a hospital in Vidin.

A total of 227 people are in hospital, 37 of them in intensive care.

The update came as Bulgaria began the four-day long weekend marking the Orthodox Christian Easter.

Reports said that resort towns such as Bansko and places along the Black Sea were filled with tourists. This was one of the reasons for more restrictive measures such as the closure of Sofia.

Health Minister Kiril Ananiev issued an order late at night on April 16 banning until further notice car travel in and out of Bulgaria’s capital city.

Exceptions are allowed for commercial vehicles providing transport services, if documentary proof is provided, special vehicles including regional health inspectorate vehicles, cars carrying medical staff going to work, vehicles carrying people in need of medical treatment, with the traveller’s declaration indicating the medical establishment they are going to, vehicles serving emergency repairs or services such as to water supply, power supply, heat supply, supplies to grocery stores, pharmacies and medical establishments, payment service providers and operators of electronic communications networks.

Another exception is for service cars and buses transporting workers to and from their place of work, including servicing strategic sites and activities relevant to national security when required to enter or leave Sofia. The traveller’s declaration shall indicate the workplace and the telephone number of the employer.

Travel for work is allowed only between 6am and 8am and 6pm and 8pm. The traveller’s declaration must indicate the workplace and the telephone number of the employer.

Bulgarian state railways BDZ announced on April 17 that trains travelling to and from Sofia Central Railway Station will not stop at stations and stops within Sofia. Thus, the first or last stations along the route of trains going to and from Sofia Central Station will be the stations Elin Pelin, Kostinbrod, Yana, Ribrovo and Vladaya.

When embarking on a trip, passengers will need to have all the necessary documents and completed declarations regarding the basis of their trip, since they are subject to inspection before being allowed on to the train, BDZ said.

Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said on April 17 that Health Minister Ananiev, accompanied by other officials, had welcomed the first shipment of medical supplies from China requested by the Bulgarian government.

The aircraft, provided through Nato’s Strategic Air Partnership Partnership Program, landed at Sofia Airport on Thursday night carrying 23 tons of supplies including 568 000 masks.

Further flights are to bring items agreed in three contracts between Bulgaria and the China National Pharmaceutical Foreign Trade Corporation, including 50 respirators, a million medical KN95 masks, 608 770 KN95 disposable masks, 171 429 packages of Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate Tablets and 30 000 packs of 250mg Azithromycin Dispersible Tablets.

The crew of the aircraft aboard which the medical supplies arrived consisted of 14 military personnel – six from the US, two from the Netherlands and one each from Sweden, Finland, Poland, Norway, Romania and Bulgaria. The commander of the flight was Captain Yasmina Hristova of the Bulgarian Air Force, who piloted the landing of the Globemaster C-17 at Sofia Airport.

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(Archive photo: Interior Ministry)



The Sofia Globe staff

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