Covid-19: Close to two-thirds of districts in Bulgaria are ‘red zones’

Eighteen out of the 28 districts in Bulgaria are currently classified as “red zones”, where there are more than 120 cases of Covid-19 per 100 000 population.

The “red zone” districts include Sofia city, Plovdiv, Varna, Bourgas, Rousse, Montana, Vratsa, Lovech, Gabrovo, Stara Zagora, Pernik, Blagoevgrad, Smolyan, Kurdzhali, Sliven, Shoumen, Razgrad and Turgovishte.

Eight districts are “orange zones”, with between 60 and 119.9 cases per 100 000 population.

These districts are Kyustendil, Sofia district, Pazardzhik, Haskovo, Yambol, Pleven, Veliko Turnovo and Silistra.

Two districts are “yellow zones”, Vidin and Dobrich. This means that no district in Bulgaria currently is classified as green.

In other news on October 29 related to Covid-19 in Bulgaria:

The district governor of Turgovishte, Mitko Staykov, has tested positive for Covid-19, he said in a Facebook post.

Staykov said that he underwent a PCR test after feeling exhausted. “In spite of the preventative measures I followed, my test for Covid-19 is positive,” he said.

Staykov is undergoing home treatment and has provided the regional health inspectorate with a list of contact persons.

The Bulgarian Medical Association (BMA) has started a campaign to co-ordinate the recruitment of volunteers, medical students, to support the activities of medical institutions in need in the country, the BMA said on its website on October 29.

The BMA said that amid a second, much stronger wave of Covid-19, the medical establishments in Bulgaria are on the verge of staff collapse.

“Every day more and more medical specialists are infected in the country, which makes the healthcare system absolutely incapable of providing timely and complete medical care, not only for patients with Covid-19.”

BMA chairperson Dr Ivan Madzharov said: “Our colleagues in the medical institutions are on the verge of mental and physical survival due to the heavy workload. In this health crisis, we rely on the help of our young colleagues, medical students, their competencies and a healthy spirit, so that together we can cope in this difficult time for all of us”.

Many medical institutions in the country have called for volunteers, but the whole process is extremely chaotic and unregulated, the BMA said.

“This is the reason why we are organising a campaign for co-ordinated recruitment of volunteers, where each medical institution announces its needs in concrete terms, and volunteers make an informed decision about where and how they can be useful, in which departments and what activities they will undertake,” Madzharov said.

Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said that as of October 28, Belgium had reclassified three regions of Bulgaria from orange to red. This meant that now all of Bulgaria was in Belgium’s “red zone” list.

Up to November 15, those arriving in Belgium from a “red zone” are no longer subject to a mandatory coronavirus test, unless showing severe symptoms of the disease.

Depending on their answers to the self-assessment questionnaire attached to the Passenger Locator Form, those arriving from a “red zone” may be placed under a mandatory 10-day quarantine, about which they will be notified via text message.

Everyone travelling to Belgium by air or sea must send electronically a Passenger Locator Form, no earlier than 48 hours before arriving in Belgium.

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 Embassies of Switzerland and Finland.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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