Bulgaria’s ‘Doctor of the Year’ is country’s 19th medic to die of Covid-19

Professor Georgi Hubchev, who headed the obstetrics and gynaecology department at the Bourgas University Hospital, has become the country’s 19th medical professional to die of Covid-19.

Hubchev, who in 2019 was named “Doctor of the Year”, died at the age of 66 after a 15-day battle by his colleagues to save his life.

He had no concomitant diseases.

First diagnosed with new coronavirus on October 2, Hubchev’s condition worsened and he was intubated. He died on October 17.

Dr Hristo Yakimov, deputy head of the University Hospital in Bourgas, said that Hubchev’s lungs had been affected, but until recently, all the other organs had been functioning.

“This man was extremely healthy. He would complete 10 hours of surgery and go off to play football,” Yakimov said.

All known methods and medicines in Europe had been used to treat Hubchev, Bulgarian National Television said.

It is not known where he became infected.

Dr Stefan Kasabov, manager of the University in Hospital in Bourgas, said: “But doctors will die. And they die because of irresponsible patients. It’s almost unbelievable that a doctor would catch the virus in a neighbourhood store or some such trifle. In all likelihood, it was caught from a patient. Ill people come to us, not healthy ones”.

Semir Abumelih, owner of the hospital, said that he was ready to turn over the entire hospital to the treatment of patients with new coronavirus.

The Bulgarian Medical Association said that the loss of a doctor of such a stature was a loss not only for his family and relatives, but also for society as a whole.

Among those expressing condolences was Bourgas mayor Dimitar Nikolov, who in 2019 conferred a municipal honour on Hubchev, who recently had been nominated as “Doctor of Bourgas 2020” and who had been named a professor just a few days before his death.

(Main photo: Hubchev, left, and Abumelih)

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

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