Covid-19: Two more hospitals in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia to admit patients

Two more hospitals in Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia will admit Covid-19 patients not in need of intensive care, Bulgarian National Radio said on October 20.

Ten beds each in the Doverie and Vita hospitals will be made available, the report said.

The October 20 report by Bulgaria’s national information system said that 292 people in Sofia had tested positive for new coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the latest in a succession of sharp rises in confirmed cases of the virus in recent weeks in the capital city and many parts of Bulgaria.

A statement by Sofia municipality said that on October 19, mayor Yordanka Fandukova had met the city’s operational headquarters against Covid-19, and had ordered an intensification of inspections of compliance with anti-epidemic measures in public places.

To limit the spread of the disease, control at commercial site and in public transport was being stepped up, Sofia municipality said.

Employees of the Sofia Inspectorate together with the regional police departments are checking for wearing masks, maintaining physical disinfecting and disinfecting in shops, the statement said.

This past Saturday and Sunday alone, the teams inspected 643 retail outlets, some of which were instructed to prevent people from gathering in shops and customers entering the shops without masks.

At the request of Fandukova, Sofia police have increased the number of teams assisting in inspections in public transport, the statement said.

The statement said that the city’s education directorate was in constant contact with the heads of kindergartens and schools, requiring from them information about the condition of staff and pupils.

Last week, more than 30 kindergartens, nurseries, schools and social homes were inspected, the municipality said.

Daily disinfection of public transport stops and vehicles was continuing. Pedestrian underpasses and refuse bins are being disinfected according to a schedule.

Sofia municipality has a logistics centre, which provides stocks of disinfectants and protective equipment.

There are wards for patients with Covid-19 in the Municipal First, Second and Fifth hospitals and currently 38 patients are being treated in them, the municipality said.

On October 20, Bulgaria’s Ministry of Health said in a media statement that by order of Health Minister Kostadin Angelov, a national logistics centre was to be established.

Its task would be to “adequately overcome difficulties in communication among the various structures for dealing with Covid-19,” the Health Ministry said.

The ministry had found in recent weeks that there had been delays in transferring patients from one hospital to another, and in the provision of personal protective equipment or Veklury, the brand name for Remdesivir, when a hospital was found to have a shortage.

The statement said that a “logistical difficulty” had been found in Bulgaria’s district of Blagoevgrad, where the Gotse Delchev hospital was found to have almost no free beds, while all the other hospitals in the district and in Blagoevgrad had enought beds. The regional crisis staff decided to make available 10 more beds at the Gotse Delchev facility, and if they were filled, patients would be treated at the nearest medical institution, the hospital in Razlog.

The Health Ministry said that the aim of the new logistics centre was “to provide each patient with quality and timely medical care in a 24-hour system”.

It said that Bulgaria would be provisionally divided into six regions with the respective administrative districts.

Angelov, speaking during a visit to Blagoevgrad, said that to overcome the shortage of medical staff in the district, an opportunity will be sought for students from the Medical College in Blagoevgrad to do internships in Blagoevgrad hospitals.

He said that he had received numerous proposals for the introduction of wearing masks outdoors from both parents’ organisations and the medical community. This would be discussed at an online meeting of the expert councils on infectious diseases and epidemiology.

“We are not talking about restrictions, closures or limitations, but about a measure that aims to save as many people as possible and to preserve the health of medical professionals, so that there is someone to treat us on the front line, around the clock,” Angelov said.

Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that, as of October 19, Estonia was requiring people arriving from Bulgaria to go into two-week quarantine.

This reverses Estonia’s October 12 decision to no longer require people arriving from Bulgaria to self-isolate for two weeks.

Bulgarian President Roumen Radev, who has been in Estonia since October 19 to take part in the Three Seas regional initiative meeting, has postponed his official meeting with Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, the President’s office said. The two heads of state had a telephone conversation today, the statement said.

Bulgarian media reported on October 20 that pupils in the fifth to 12th grades at a school in Turgovishte where a 58-year-old geography teacher, Rumi Radoslavova, died of Covid-19, were going over to distance learning.

Eighth-grade pupils in the class where Radoslavova had been the class teacher were receiving psychological counselling, the report said.

Bulgarian National Television reported on October 20 that mountain resort town Bansko was beginning preparations of the winter season, and the resort was adamant that the situation there should not be equated with that in the Blagoevgrad district where the resort falls

Last week, Health Minister Angelov called on people not to travel to the Turgovishte and Blagoevgrad districts because of the high incidence of Covid-19 cases in the two districts.

Bansko mayor Ivan Kadev said that, following a meeting with the crisis headquarters, he had issued an order setting out anti-epidemic measures to all tourist and commercial places in the municipality.

“They do not differ from what is contained in the Minister of Health’s order, but we are creating a group that, together with the police structures, regional health inspectorate and the municipality, will strictly monitor compliance with the requirements, and sanctions will be imposed,” Kadev said.

(Image: Pixabay)

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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