Covid-19 in Bulgaria, roundup April 20: 929 cases, partial re-opening of routine medical services

The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Bulgaria has risen by 35 in the past 24 hours to 929, according to an update issued by the national operational headquarters at 5pm on April 20.

This includes a total of 43 deaths and 268 people currently in hospital, of whom 34 are in intensive care.

The number of medical staff who have tested positive is 76, the operational HQ said.

Bulgarian Health Minister Kiril Ananiev ordered the partial re-opening of medical facilities starting April 21, which will resume planned examinations of women and children, as well as mandatory vaccinations. Examinations can be carried out only by prior appointment in order to observe the anti-epidemic measures, which will remain in effect, and general practitioners are directed to schedule all children examinations for Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as making no appointments for other patients on those days.

The minister’s order also said that “planned operative and treatment activities” will also resume on April 21, focusing on the most pressing cases, without elaborating further on the selection criteria. The order did say that newly-admitted patients with even minor symptoms or any suspicion of being infected with the novel coronavirus should be administered a test within 24 hours. Medical facilities are required to strictly follow the anti-epidemic sanitary measures to prevent the spread of infection.

Fruit and vegetable markets and flower markets in Bulgaria re-opened on April 20, after being closed by order of Ananiev from April 17 to 19.

A report by Bulgarian National Radio said that at the market in Kresno Selo in Sofia, there were just 30 traders working, and all requisite anti-epidemic measures were being adhered to.

The report said that at the markets, prices of some products had risen significantly, with Bulgarian strawberries selling for 12 leva (about six euro) and ginger for 25 leva a kilogram. Traders ascribed this to high demand for these products.

Bulgarian state railways BDZ said that as of April 12, all trains would run according to their regular schedules.

Train services were restricted from April 17 to 20 to discourage travel during Bulgaria’s Orthodox Easter four-day public holiday.

Trains in and out of Sofia will resume scheduled stops at stations within the city.

BDZ issued a reminder that passengers would be allowed to board only if they had the necessary documents and completed declarations regarding the reasons for their journeys.

Sofia Pride announced on April 20 that it was postponing the June 23 procession, but the organisers were planning a series of other initiatives.

“The health of the thousands of visitors we expect this year is an absolute priority for us and it would be irresponsible to risk the spread of the virus, even if the measures are eased by then. We continue to monitor the situation and, if possible, are ready to set a new date for the procession,” Sofia Pride said.

Sofia Pride will also be part of the first online Global Pride 2020 event on June 27.

“In the current lockdown situation, some young people are forced to isolate themselves with their parents who do not accept their sexual orientation and gender identity. We want to say to them, ‘You are not alone!’ And to assure you that we will continue to refocus our activities so that we can offer you psychological and other support,” Sofia Pride said.

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(Photo: Bulgaria Interior Ministry press centre)



The Sofia Globe staff

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