Covid-19 in Bulgaria, May 7: 51 new cases, more convictions for quarantine-breaking

The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Bulgaria has increased by 51 in the past 24 hours to a total of 1829, counting in those who have died and those who have recovered from the virus, according to an evening update by the national operational headquarters.

The number of patients in hospital has risen by two to 355, and the number in intensive care by four to 43.

A total of 192 medical personnel have tested positive.

The death toll remains 84, unchanged from 24 hours earlier.

The Ministry of Health’s fundraising campaign to assist Bulgarian medics in the front line against new coronavirus has so far raised more than 412 000 leva (about 206 000 euro) in donations, the ministry said on May 7.

Donations to the campaign may be made by sending a text message with the text DMS SOLIDARNOST to the number 17777.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy said on May 7 that close to 142 000 employees at 9850 enterprises will keep their jobs thanks to the 60:40 measure.

The 60:40 measure provides for the state to pay 60 per cent of payroll costs of enterprises in sectors listed as at risk from the economic fallout from Covid-19. The employer is obliged to pay the remaining 40 per cent.

So far, funding adding up to 11 million leva has been disbursed to 2841 companies, the ministry said.

Bulgaria’s Cabinet approved the allocation of 636 150 leva (about 325 260 euro) in humanitarian aid aimed at fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of the money will be used to purchase 4150 sets of personal protection equipment, to be donated to Serbia, North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus and Iraq. The rest of the funding will go towards purchasing long-lasting foods made in Bulgaria, to be donated to Serbia, Albania and North Macedonia.

Separately, the Cabinet approved grants worth a combined 860 600 leva, or about 440 000 euro, to international organisations at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, Unicef, UNCHR and the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The Cabinet statement said that the country’s foreign develpoment aid budget was being directed towards fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bulgarian National Television reported on May 7 that hoteliers in mountain resort town Bansko are calling for assistance to get out of their difficult financial situation.

Tourist businesses in Bansko want to be able to welcome tourists from the beginning of June, and thus want health authorities to act faster to draw up a list of requirements they must meet, so that they may get certificates that they meet health standards.

The businesses also want financial relief from Bansko municipality, such as a concession on refuse collection tax.

Hoteliers and restaurateurs in the resort do not intend raising prices, making it affordable for Bulgarians to holiday in Bansko this year, the report said.

Bulgarian National Radio reported that two men were taken into custody at Sofia Airport while trying to fly out of Bulgaria in spite of being in mandatory 14-day quarantine.

One, a resident of Sofia, was trying to go to Vienna, and the other intended to fly to London.

Pre-trial proceedings have been initiated against both men.

On May 7, the Prosecutor’s Office announced several court sentences and pre-trial proceedings in connection with quarantine violations.

A 32-year-old man who broke quarantine in Plovdiv by going out to buy cigarettes was fined 10 000 leva and sentenced to three months’ probation following a plea bargain.

The Razgrad District Court sentenced a 59-year-old man to a fine of 5000 leva and six months probation for breaking quarantine by going to the traffic police office in the town.

A 43-year-old woman who broke quarantine in Turgovishte to attend a memorial service for a loved one was fined 10 000 leva and sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for three years.

The Dimitrovgrad Regional Court sentenced a man who broke quarantine by visiting relatives to a fine of 10 000 leva and four months in prison, suspended for three years.

The Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) decided that the top tier of the professional league will finish the 2019/2020 season on a shortened schedule, with the matches played behind closed doors. Clubs will resume training in mid-May and the first matches will be scheduled for June 5. The current season would be completed on July 11, with the 2020/2021 season starting on July 25. The national cup final would be held on July 4.

As regards the second tier of the professional league, participant clubs have been asked whether they prefer to complete the remaining 12 rounds of matches, in which case the season will end on July 13, or end the season now with the current standings. The decision will be done by simple majority.

The Bulgarian football governing body said that should “new force majeure circumstances” require a repeat suspension of matches, the top and second-tier league seasons would end with immediate effect, with the final league standings based on the last full round of matches played.

The women’s league will play out the remaining nine rounds of matches, BFU said.

(Photo: Military Medical Academy)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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