Covid-19 in Bulgaria: As rate of new cases falls, a warning against complacency

There is a slight downturn in the rate of new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection in Bulgaria, but this does not mean the public should be complacent.

That was the message on May 24 from Professor Todor Kantardzhiev, head of the National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases and a member of the national operational headquarters against Covid-19.

“There is a slight tendency of a reduction in the number of new cases, but that does not mean that we should gather in large numbers, not wear masks in public and not keep to disinfection measures, at least those with which we are accustomed,” Kantardzhiev said.

He said that the doubling time, meaning the time taken for the number of cases to double, was now 35 days and was continuing to increase.

Kantardzhiev’s warning came at the close of a week in which Bulgaria announced further easings of restrictions, including re-opening of kindergartens, resumption of indoor sports and lifting the ban on the entry to Bulgaria of citizens from EU and Schengen visa zone countries.

Police also have had to face gatherings of large groups of grade 12 school-leavers who have been failing to maintain physical distancing and who largely do not wear protective masks.

May 24 is the Day of Slavonic Language and Learning. Celebrations were pared back to a degree, such as not holding the traditional procession from the Ministry of Education to the National Library in Sofia. Because in 2020 the day falls on a Sunday, Monday is a special public holiday, prompting many Bulgarians to take advantage of the long weekend to travel.

At the daily briefing on the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria, the operational HQ announced that in the past 24 hours, a total of 886 samples had been tested, of which 19 proved positive.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Bulgaria to date to 2427.

A total of 840 people have recovered from the virus while the death toll is 130.

The four deaths in past 24 hours among those who had tested positive for Covid-19 included two in Sofia – a 76-year-old man and a 73-year-old man, and two in Yambol, a 76-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man. The 76-year-old woman had also had heart disease.

(Screenshot of Kantardzhiev: BNT)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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