Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Roundup, April 24 – rise in cases, queues of cars

The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Bulgaria has increased in the past 24 hours by 91 to a total of 1188 to date, counting deaths and those who have recovered, according to an evening update by the operational headquarters on April 24.

The death toll has increased by two in the past 24 hours to 54.

A total of 282 people are hospital, 12 more than by the evening of April 23, while the number of those in intensive care has risen from 37 to 41.

As of the evening of April 24, the totals of the registered cases are Blagoevgrade 33, Bourgas 43, Varna 26, Veliko Turnovo 17, Vidin 50, Vratsa three, Gabrovo four, Dobrich 13, Kurdzhali 13, Kyustendil 35, Lovech two, Montana 18, Pazardzhik 21, Pernik 10, Pleven 94, Plovdiv 43, Rousse 10, Silistra three, Sliven 35, Smolyan 33, Sofia 625, Stara Zagora 32, Haskovo 15, Shoumen four and Yambol six.

Bulgaria’s Health Minister Kiril Ananiev issued an order on April 24 extending until May 13 the compulsory wearing of masks or other appropriate face coverings when in indoor or outdoor public places.

The mask or other fabric must be worn so as to cover the mouth and nose.

The initial order had required the wearing of protective masks or face coverings in public places until April 26.

Bulgarian National Radio reported on the late afternoon of April 24 that there were large queues of cars at all intercity travel checkpoints around Sofia.

The longest was at the exit from Sofia to Trakiya Motorway – which goes to Plovdiv and on to Bourgas at the Black Sea coast – stretching four kilometres.

There were queues of one to two km in the direction of the Hemus Motorway, Struma Motorway and the Vladaya region.

Traffic is expected to be very busy on Sunday, as people seek to enter Sofia, the report said.

As Bulgaria’s Muslim community embarked on the holy month of Ramadan, Health Minister Ananiev issued an order placing restrictions on the entry to Bulgaria of people and vehicles coming from Turkey.

There are exemptions for goods lorries, special purpose vehicles, vehicles transporting people in need of medical treatment and vehicles being used for humanitarian missions.

The ban is to remain in force until Sunday night. The aim is to prevent people who have dual Bulgarian-Turkish nationality coming to Bulgaria to spend time at the start of Ramadan with their relatives.

The spiritual leader of Bulgaria’s Muslims, the Chief Mufti, has ordered mosques closed for mass prayer. This order was issued weeks ago.

In Plovdiv, a police officer who was filmed handing a fine to a motorist now faces a fine of his own – for failing to comply with the order to wear a mask while in public.

The person who took the footage sent it to a television station. Police identified the police officer, and he is being fined 300 leva.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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