Covid-19 in Bulgaria, May 22: Mass testing in Bourgas, active cases drop for third day

May 22 was the third consecutive day to see a decrease in the number of active cases of new coronavirus in Bulgaria, while the number of patients who had recovered continued to climb, now adding up to about four in 10 of those who had tested positive.

At a meeting on Friday, Bourgas’s municipal operational headquarters unanimously accepted a proposal by mayor Dimitar Nikolov to conduct a large-scale study to show the degree of immunity against Covid-19 in Bourgas, a statement by the municipality said.

To this end, between 3000 and 5000 antibody tests will be provided, with the precise number still to be determined, the statement said.

The testing will be done in the first half of June by the regional health inspectorate.

“Thus, at the beginning of the summer season, Bourgas will have a representative study that will give it grounds to advertise itself as a safe destination and a safe region to visit and holiday. It will also be provided to people in the tourism industry,” the municipality said.

The Bulgarian Medical Association (BMA) has conferred awards on the Bulgarian Society of Ophthalmology and the Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom”
for their support for the national “For the Heroes in White” campaign and the “Together We Can Make It” initiative, the association said on its website.

BMA board chairman Dr. Ivan Madjarov presented the awards to Prof. Dr. Iva Petkova, chairman of the board of the Bulgarian Society of Ophthalmology and Associate Professor Alexander Oscar, secretary of the Bulgarian Society of Ophthalmology and president of Shalom.

Madjarov noted that from the start, both organisations had actively supported the “For the Heroes in White” campaign. Shalom had donated more than 37 000 leva to the campaign, the statement said.

The “Together We Can Make It” initiative, organised by the BMA, Bulgarian Society of Ophthalmology and Shalom, had delivered food to more than 420 medical professionals and their relatives in quarantine in Sofia, Pazardzhik, Peshtera, Kurdzhali, Lovech, Gabrovo, Pleven, Veliko Turnovo, Shoumen, Sliven, Kyustendil, Plovdiv and Vidin.

Speaking during Question Time in the National Assembly on May 22, Deputy Prime Minister Mariana Nikolova said that as at May 11, a total of 11 150 applications had been received for the 60:40 measure.

The 60:40 measure provides for the state to pick up 60 per cent of payroll costs of employers in sectors hit by the Covid-19 crisis, while the employer is obliged to pay the remaining 40 per cent.

The applications submitted covered a total of 171 548 employees.

The largest number of applications came from employers in the hotel and restaurant sector, 36.6 per cent, followed by the motor car repair and trade sector, 19 per cent, manufacturing, 11.5 per cent, culture, sports and entertainment five per cent and transport and construction, four per cent, Nikolova said.

According to the National Social Security Institute, as of May 12, close to 16 million leva had been paid in compensation under the 60:40 scheme.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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