Bulgaria’s Health Minister: Easy to shut down everything, but people wouldn’t cope mentally

It would be very easy to shut down absolutely everything, but people would not be able to cope mentally, Bulgaria’s Health Minister Kostadin Angelov said in a radio interview on December 19.

“Our goal is to shut down as many dangers as possible,” Angelov told Darik Radio, the morning after his ministry posted his order detailing the anti-epidemic restrictions that will continue until January 31, to contain the spread of Covid-19 in Bulgaria.

“Our decisions are not based on political considerations and political decisions,” he said.

Angelov said that conclusions and ensuing decisions could not be based on one single indicator about the disease. “We have more than 17 indicators,” he said.

He said that the reason for the death rate from new coronavirus was that many Bulgarians had chronic illnesses, and efforts should be directed against this.

Angelov said that health care in Bulgaria was not bad, and compared with EU health care, was extremely accessible and timeously available.

The order posted by the Health Ministry on the night of December 18 says that from January 4, pupils from the first to the fourth grade may return to in-person schooling.

Kindergartens and nurseries will open on January 4.

From January 4, galleries and museums may open, using no more than 30 per cent of their capacity, with visitors maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres between them and with the mandatory wearing of protective masks.

All collective sports events of a training and competitive nature for people up to 18 years of age are suspended. An exception is allowed only for athletes registered with sports federations. All sporting events will be held without spectators.

Hotel restaurants may open, but no more of 50 per cent of their seating capacity may be occupied and their opening hours are limited to 6am to 10pm.

Restaurants and all entertainment establishments registered under the Tourism Act remain closed, but deliveries to homes and offices are allowed.

Gambling halls, casinos, fitness centre and gyms remained closed.

In-person congresses, conferences, seminars, competitions, training sessions, team buildings, exhibitions and other such public events remain banned.

Mathematics professor Nikolai Vitanov, interviewed by Nova Televizia, said that the vaccines would make it possible to “crush” the virus, because it affected the factor in the mathematical models towards suppressing the epidemic.

“The more people vaccinated, the more it decreases,” Vitanov said.

Once two million people were vaccinated, the effects would be felt. “At three and a half million, we start solving the problem,” he said.

Vitanov said that it was too early to speak about easing the measures, because the number of active cases was high.

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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