Professor Kantardzhiev: Bulgaria will reach Covid-19 peak in next few days

Bulgaria will reach the peak of its Covid-19 cases in the next few days, Professor Todor Kantardzhiev, director of the National Center for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases and a member of the national operational headquarters, said on April 23.

Kantardzhiev said that the reasons for the relatively low number of cases of coronavirus in Bulgaria were the “political decision” to take steps, and the daily meetings of the operational headquarters at the Cabinet office.

The steps that Bulgaria had taken to contain the spread of the virus had been timeous, he said, according to a report by Bulgarian National Television.

He said that if there was an increase in cases of coronavirus in Bulgaria, it would be because of those who had travelled during the past Orthodox Easter four-day weekend.

On the morning of April 23, the operational headquarters said that the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Bulgaria had increased by 66 in the past 24 hours to a total of 1081.

There had been 50 deaths, 190 people had recovered and there were 841 active cases, the operational HQ said.

A total of 262 people are in hospital, 37 of them in intensive care. Ninety-five medical personnel have tested positive.

In a separate announcement later on the morning of April 23, the Ministry of Health said that four cases of Covid-19 had been confirmed in a home for the elderly in the village of Gara Oreshets in the district of Vidin.

The home, which accommodates 26 people and has 16 staff, has been quarantined. The results of tests of contact persons, employees and other residents are expected on Friday.

Bulgaria’s Muslim community is preparing to begin the holy month of Ramadan with mosques in the country closed on the orders of the Chief Mufti.

Prayers will be conducted online. A recommendation has been issued to limit to a tight circle the traditional evening meals during Ramadan. Food deliveries should be only to the most needy, with packaging to make disinfection possible.

Bulgaria’s Customs Agency said on April 23 that during the Orthodox Easter holidays, customs officials at the Kapitan Andreevo border checkpoint seized close to 218 000 contraband face masks, 34 000 gloves and 2950 protective suits.

The agency has made available to the Bulgarian Red Cross 103 000 faces shields forfeited to the state, it said.

In one of the cases of confiscation of contraband at the Kapitan Andreevo checkpoint during the Easter weekend, 159 783 safety masks were found in a Romanian truck carrying a groupage goods from Turkey to Romania, of which were 147 250 medical masks and 12 533 cloth masks. Nearly 800 of the sewn fabric masks have the logos of well-known brands, including Adidas, Air Jordan, Chicago Bulls, Chanel and Nike.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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