Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Results of mass testing in Plovdiv announced

On average, two per cent of residents of Bulgaria’s city of Plovdiv have encountered the new coronavirus, it was announced on June 15 at a briefing on the results of the mass testing done during the past month.

The survey involved 291 households in the six districts of Plovdiv. A total of 1108 people agreed to participate.

Two hundred medical personnel were tested in the survey, which overall cost 58 000 leva (about 29 654 euro).

The study in Plovdiv was carried out by a team of 22, all specialists from the regional health inspectorate in the city. Eleven volunteers, students from the Medical University of Plovdiv and trainee doctors, worked with people in the field.

The results showed that 1.08 per cent of those tested were carriers of antibodies, while the figure for medical personnel was three per cent.

Chief State Health Inspector Angel Kunchev said that a very small percentage of Bulgarian society had encountered the virus.

“According to this study, an average of two per cent. If we wait to reach 70 per cent and reach general and collective immunity, two to three years would have to pass at this rate and we will pay a very high price,” Kunchev said.

He said that by comparison, a similar study in Bergamo in northern Italy found 57 per cent were carriers of antibodies.

Any theories about letting people encounter Covid-19 were great nonsense, Kunchev said.

“Collective immunity is a very good thing, in the case of this infection it is inapplicable,” he said.

“Twenty families in Stolipinovo and 10 in Sheker Mahala were also examined. All of them are free of coronavirus,” Plovdiv regional governor Dani Kanazireva told the briefing, referring to areas of Plovdiv where the majority of residents are Roma people.

Earlier on June 15, in a television interview, National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases head Professor Todor Kantardzhiev said that the increase in Covid-19 cases in Bulgaria in the past two weeks was the result of non-compliance with restrictive measures.

Many people had gathered in large groups during religious holidays without maintaining physical distancing, and this was why there had been Covid-19 outbreaks in the districts of Shoumen and Smolyan.

The peak of the epidemic in Bulgaria had been in the last 10 days of April, Kantardzhiev said.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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The Sofia Globe staff

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