Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Unlikely State of Emergency will be lifted before May 13, PM says

Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said on April 26 that it was unlikely that the State of Emergency would be lifted before May 13 – a reversal of a statement that he had made the day before.

On April 25, Borissov had said that the government was considering lifting the State of Emergency – which had been voted by Parliament on March 13 – ahead of the current end-date, while keeping in place anti-epidemic measures such as compulsory wearing of masks in public places.

On Sunday, he said that it was unlikely that this would happen, adding that the government’s main goal was to keep the pressure off medical professionals in hospitals.

Borissov said that the decision had been made to partially re-open public parks because a meeting on Sunday morning had assessed the risk from doing this as moderate.

Various parks in municipalities are being re-opened, to admit parents with children younger than 12, people exercising by themselves, and people walking their dogs, with requirements for physical distancing, the wearing of masks, and not using benches or playgrounds.

“If the restrictions are not respected, we will close them (the parks) again,” Borissov said.

Bulgaria’s Chief State Health Inspector Associate Professor Angel Kunchev told public broadcaster Bulgarian National Radio on April 26 that the number of confirmed cases was continuing to grow, but at a moderate pace.

“The key is not where people go but how they behave. The risk arises when multiple people gather in one place. If we loosen up the measures now, everything that has been achieved so far will be meaningless,” Kunchev said.

On April 26, Health Minister Kiril Ananiev issued an order revoking his previous order suspending assisted reproduction procedures.

Assisted reproduction procedures may go ahead, but under several anti-epidemic conditions, including that each patient should be considered as potentially infected with Covid-19, and medical staff must use personal protective equipment. Two days before a procedure, the patient must have undergone a PCR test for Covid-19, which must have proven negative.

The national operational headquarters said at a morning briefing on April 26 that in the past 24 hours, the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 had increased by 56 to a total of 1290, with 1030 counted as active cases.

The death toll is 55, while 205 patients have recovered from the illness, the operational HQ said.

There are 292 patients in hospital, 37 of them in intensive care. A total of 138 medical personnel have tested positive for Covid-19.

(Photo via Borissov’s Facebook page)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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