A decision will be made in the coming week on whether to extend Bulgaria’s restrictive measures against Covid-19 beyond January 31 or ease them earlier than that, Chief State Health Inspector Angel Kunchev told Bulgarian National Radio (BNR).
The heightened measures went into effect on November 27 and initially were due to expire on December 22, but in mid-December were extended to January 31 against a background of distressing Covid-19 figures in Bulgaria.
Speaking to BNR on January 10, Kunchev said that a decision would be made on the basis of data from the past full working week, during which children returned to kindergartens and first to fourth-grade pupils returned to in-person classes.
Kunchev said that the main goal is to find a balance between reducing the risk and not stopping all social activities.
“I am glad that the interest in vaccines is great and I prefer that option, to have demand and not enough vaccines, rather than the other way around,” he said.
Kunchev expects the Astra Zeneca vaccine to be approved for use in EU countries within 10 days.
He said that so far the information about the profile of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine, which has already been given to more than 14 000 people in Bulgaria, was very good.
There were only five registered cases of side effects, but they were within that which may be expected, pain in the area of the injection and a slight stiffness of the arm. These side-effects disappeared within hours or within one to two days, Kunchev said.
He said that while there were very good results in the effect of the measures against Covid-19 in Bulgaria, there was a very significant increase in morbidity in some countries.
“This makes us vigilant and very careful in making decisions, “he said.
“We managed to reduce the number of both new patients and people in need of medical care, but it is too early to talk about a final reversal of the trend,” Kunchev said.
He said that it was difficult to say that there was a consensus on the issue of returning pupils to schools. There was no such consensus worldwide, he said.
The Sofia Globe’s coverage of the Covid-19 situation is supported by the Embassies of Switzerland and Finland.
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