Bulgarian doctor, 43, dies of Covid-19

A 43-year-old doctor, Iliana Ivanova, died in hospital in the Bulgarian town of Sliven after being in intensive care for treatment of Covid-19.

Dr Ivanova’s death, the 69th in Bulgaria of a patient who had tested positive for Covid-19, was announced on May 2.

She had worked in the infectious diseases ward of the hospital in Sliven, the announcement said.

To date, 174 medical personnel in Bulgaria have tested positive for Covid-19.

The Bulgarian Medical Association announced on May 2 that it was starting a fundraising campaign for families and loved ones of medical professionals who died in the battle against Covid-19.

The first payment, of 5000 leva (about 2556 euro) will be made by the Bulgarian Medical Association to the family of Dr Ivanova, the association said.

Details of the account for donations and how families and relatives of deceased medics will be helped will be announced in coming days, the Bulgarian Medical Association said.

The national operational headquarters said on the morning of May 2 that in the past 24 hours, of 1126 samples tested for Covid-19, 47 had tested positive.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Bulgaria to date to 1588, of which 1232 are active. A total of 287 people have recovered.

It was also announced on May 2 that the daily morning briefings by operational headquarters chief Major-General Ventsislav Mutafchiyski and other members of the HQ were at an end.

Instead, information about Covid-19 in Bulgaria would be provided to the media and the public in the form of statements by Associate Professor Dimo Dimov, secretary of the operational HQ.

Journalists should direct their questions to the operational HQ via ministerial press centres and the Cabinet press office, it was announced.

The government press office said that the reason for the decision was the belief that Bulgarian society was already well-informed about the coronavirus. Increasingly, there was criticism that the daily briefings were doing more harm than good, it said.

In a television interview on May 2, Labour and Social Policy Minister Denitsa Sacheva said: “There is no need to put out statistics every day, causing tension. People need a bit of a breather and calm. We have taken into account the opinions we received. The government always has listened to people’s opinions and reacted”.

The decision did not mean a rest for Mutafchiyski, Associate Professor Kunchev and Professor Kantardzhiev, the leaders of the operational HQ, according to Sacheva.

Mutafchiyski had held a meeting with Prime Minister Boiko Borissov to discuss further easing of restrictive measures, she said.

The announcement of the end of regular daily briefings by Mutafchiyski came a day after Bulgaria’s government announced the rescinding of the order making the wearing of masks in public compulsory, and announced that public access to mountains, national parks and nature parks was being restored.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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