Covid-19: Bulgaria’s Health Minister says no need for tighter restrictions

Health Minister Kostadin Angelov said on August 4 that the current restrictions were sufficient to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country and there was no need to tighten them further.

He said that the current trend was downward, with the number of infections in the past two weeks being 9.8 per cent lower than in the two-week period before that.

Angelov said that Bulgaria’s healthcare system was not under significant strain, but said that hospitals were prepared to sharply increase their bed allocation in case infections rose past 350 cases a day.

Hospitals had 2832 beds, including 397 with ventilators, set aside if daily infections were between 150 and 300 cases, Angelov said. If the daily figure increased past 350 cases, that allocation would increase to 8415 beds, including 1108 with ventilators.

Bulgaria had 823 people in hospitals with Covid-19, including 43 in intensive care, according to the August 4 update from the national coronavirus operational centre.

Angelov said that the healthcare system had sufficient personal protection equipment, with disposable overshoes and gloves in the shortest supply, about six weeks’ worth, but the Health Ministry was working to increase available quantities.

A task force by the health and education ministries will begin work next week to set up guidelines for re-opening schools, including standard operating procedures in case a pupil or teacher tests positive for coronavirus. The school year in Bulgaria begins in mid-September.

Earlier in the day, Angelov and chief state health inspector Angel Kunchev met with Prime Minister Boiko Borissov to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic and the government’s response.

Borissov was adamant that there was no reason for re-introducing lockdown measures and was given assurances by Angelov that the healthcare system was prepared to deal with the coronavirus caseload, the Cabinet’s media office said in a statement.

(Prime Minister Boiko Borissov speaks to Health Minister Kostadin Angelov and chief state health inspector Angel Kunchev on August. Photo:

For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria, please click here.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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