Covid-19 in Bulgaria, May 11: Cash for culture; crop-spraying, and malls stay closed

Bulgaria’s Culture Ministry said on May 11 that it was making an additional five million leva, or about 2.55 million euro, available in support of artists and cultural productions, on top of 2.5 million leva allocated earlier.

The ministry’s breakdown said that 500 000 leva each would be granted to new theatre productions, new musical productions, new dance productions and visual arts.

A further 800 000 leva would go towards assisting the distribution of existing theatre, musical and dance productions, while the National Fund for Culture will receive 1.5 million leva for “structural support” and 700 000 leva to fund small projects directed at individual artists, targeting the online medium.

Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry, in a Facebook post on May 11, said that posts on the social network claiming that a bilateral agreement had been signed allowing Bulgarians and Greeks to visit each other’s countries without compulsory quarantine were not true.

Yambol municipality said that an AN-2 aircraft from Agricultural Aviation would carry out aerial spraying of disinfectant over the Raina Knyaginya neighbourhood of the town, beginning on May 13 at 6.30pm.

The preparation to be used is safe for humans, plants and animals, the municipality said.

It said that the step was being taken “to disinfect all points that cannot be reached by other equipment”.

The municipality called on residents of the neighbourhood not to leave their homes if possible during the operation, which would take a few hours. It said that the buffer zone around the neighbourhood will be additionally disinfected.

The Raina Knyaginya neighbourhood is Yambol’s Roma quarter. Since May 10, on the orders of the regional health inspectorate, it has been effectively sealed off, with media reports saying that residents were not even allowed to leave for work. On May 8, Yambol regional administration said that of nine new cases of Covid-19 in the previous 24 hours, three were in the the Raina Knyaginya neighbourhood.

Weeks ago, Bulgaria’s health authorities made clear that they did not regard a “crop-spraying” method of distributing disinfectant as having any beneficial effect.

Health Minister Kiril Ananiev said on May 11 that shopping malls will not re-open yet.

“We have not talked about it,” Ananiev told reporters. He said that the closure of shopping malls would be one of the last measures to be rescinded.

Earlier on May 11, Ananiev issued an order allowing the re-opening, subject to anti-epidemic measures, of indoor museums, galleries, libraries and cinemas, and the holding of cultural events outdoors.

The national operational headquarters said that as at 5pm on May 11, there were 1990 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Bulgaria, 25 more than 24 hours earlier.

The number of people in hospital has gone down from 385 to 368, and those in intensive care from 58 to 50.

The death toll has increased by two to 93. At St Anna Hospital in Sofia, a 78-year-old man from the old age home in Kula died. He also had had dementia and arterial hypertonia. In the municipal hospital in Yambol, a 53-year-old man who also had double pneumonia had died, the operational HQ said.

(Main photo via Yambol municipality)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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