Covid-19: Bulgaria’s Blagoevgrad and Turgovishte tighten measures as cases spike

All large-scale events in Bulgaria’s city of Turgovishte have been postponed because of a sharp increase in new coronavirus infections, while the mayor has appealed to residents to stay home instead of going to social gatherings.

Mayor Darin Dimitrov issued an appeal to residents of Turgovishte not to visit nightclubs, not to gather in large groups and to limit family celebrations for at least two weeks.

To date, there have been 430 confirmed cases of new coronavirus in the Turgovishte district. The October 15 daily report by the national information system said that in the previous 24 hours, there had been 43 newly-confirmed cases, while the October 16 report said that there had been 45 further cases in the past day.

On October 15, Health Minister Kostadin Angelov called on the public not to travel to Turgovishte or to Blagoevgrad, another district that has seen a sharp increase in cases. These districts are the only two in Bulgaria classified as red zones.

In the past two days, health inspectors in Turgovishte have identified more than 40 breaches of anti-epidemic measures in restaurants, businesses and public transport.

Dimitrov said that in some public transport buses, drivers had not been wearing masks while there were passengers who were not wearing masks properly. Control was being stepped up, he said.

Pupils at the two largest high schools in the city have gone over to distance learning, while the school buildings are being disinfected.

Classes are expected to resume on October 19, unless there is a further increase in newly-confirmed cases of new coronavirus.

All the beds in the three hospitals in the Turgovishte districts are occupied. Turgovishte hospital management have gone 50 000 leva over the budget for buying personal protective equipment for hospital staff, Bulgarian National Radio said.

Media reports from the city said that the doctors and the entire medical staff were extremely tired.

“Things in the hospitals in the district are at a critical minimum,” regional governor Panayot Dimitrov told BNR.

In Blagoevgrad, the crisis headquarters against Covid-19 has banned weddings, baptisms and gatherings of large groups of people in restaurants and bars, for 14 days.

To date, there have been 2620 confirmed cases of new coronavirus in the Blagoevgrad district. The national information system’s October 16 report said that there had been 91 new cases in the past day, while the October 15 report said that the previous 24 hours had seen 53 new cases.

The headquarters said that at the moment, there is no need to restrict entry and exit from Blagoevgrad.

Control over the measures requiring protective masks in indoor public places and in places where many people gather is being stepped up.

On the market days of Saturday and Wednesdays, there will be monitoring whether people are complying with rules requiring distancing and the flow of people in a single direction, the headquarters said. These market days traditionally attract large crowds.

(Photo of Turgovishte: Plamen Petkov)

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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