Covid-19: Future vaccine will be free of charge, Bulgaria’s Chief State Health Inspector says

A future vaccine against new coronavirus will be free of charge for anyone in Bulgaria who wants, the country’s Chief State Health Inspector Associate Professor Angel Kunchev said in a television interview on August 28.

“I am more worried about when it will come and how effective it will be,” Kunchev said.

He said that it was worrying that in the past months, the severity of Covid-19 had increased.

Kunchev acknowledged that Bulgaria may have the highest mortality rate in the European Union. “In recent days, there was a fairly high number of deaths,” he said.

On the topic of the record number of deaths, 18, reported by Bulgaria’s national information system on August 25, he said that these were accumulated cases over two to three days.

“Obviously in some smaller hospitals the technical staff do not work on Saturdays and Sundays and on Monday report the entire number. This is a violation,” he said.

Kunchev said that the high mortality data were being analysed. One possible reason was that the infection had affected many elderly people in nursing homes.

However, there was a trend that the rate of the number of infected was decreasing. Kunchev expressed the hope that this trend would continue.

It is unrealistic to expect that there will be no new coronavirus in schools, the issue is to minimise the spread, he said.

Bulgaria’s Education Minister Krassimir Vulchev said on August 27 that the 2020/21 school year is set to begin with pupils back in classrooms, but with protocols in place to limit the risks of coronavirus infections and increased preparedness to switch to distance learning alternatives.

Whatever happened in society would happen in schools too, Kunchev said.

“No one should have the illusion that with all the measures that are taken, and they are very serious, schools will be an island of prosperity,” he said.

In the case of a child with a positive result, an epidemiologist will determine the range of contacts to be examined – whether it will be the whole class or a smaller group depends on who the child has interacted with more actively, he said, adding that in this case the check-up would be free of charge.

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

The Sofia Globe’s coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria is supported by the Embassy of Switzerland.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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