Covid-19 in Bulgaria: 1513 active cases, death toll 110

The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Bulgaria has risen by 24 in the past 24 hours to 2235, of which 1513 are active cases, the national operational headquarters said on May 18.

The 24 that were positive were out of a total of 362 tests conducted in the past 24 hours.

A total of 612 people have recovered from the illness, the operational HQ said.

There are 329 Covid-19 patients in hospital, 43 of them in intensive care.

The number of medical personnel who have tested positive has increased by two to 242. The two new cases are a doctor in Plovdiv and a nurse in Sofia.

The death toll has risen by two to 110. A 77-year-old man, who also had heart disease, died in Pirogov emergency hospital in Sofia, while a 69-year-old man who had multiple organ failure died in Blagoevgrad.

The updated figures were released on the morning that shopping malls and gyms in Bulgaria were allowed to re-open.

In shopping malls, however, some facilities are not being allowed to re-open – restaurants, bars, fast food outlets, coffee shops, entertainment centres, children’s and indoor sports facilities. Restaurants may re-open if they have an open-air area and a separate entrance.

Customers will have to enter and exit shopping malls at different points in a mall, and steps must be taken to prevent crowding. It is up to stores to monitor the distance between customers.

At gyms, up to 10 people will be allowed to train in groups, and people using the gym should be spaced at one per four square metres.

Gym equipment must be disinfected after each use. Gym employees must wear masks, but gym customers need not.

No one with a temperature higher than 37 degrees Celsius may be admitted to a gym. Ventilation systems at gyms must be used, and if a gym does not have a ventilation system, it must be ventilated every four hours.

In a May 18 interview with Bulgarian National Television, Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova said that on May 19, a video conference would be held with the prime ministers of Bulgaria’s neighbouring countries of Romania, Serbia and Greece to co-ordinate an approach to travel and the holiday season.

“There is no way to have tourism when there is a quarantine. That in itself puts people off. And certainly the European Commission has recommended not to have a quarantine,” Angelkova said.

She said that it was crucial that Bulgaria should be able to welcome tourists from its neighbouring countries from the beginning of June, because road transport was at this point the most accessible and safest, given that airlines were still making plans about resuming air travel.

Angelkova said that currently, no charter flights to Bulgaria’s Varna and Bourgas airports scheduled for after June 15 had been cancelled.

Asked whether the ministry would allow hotels to accommodate guests in indoor dining areas, Angelkova said that this would depend on the spread of the infection being very low.

(Archive photo: Interior Ministry press centre)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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