Bulgaria’s Health Minister: Cases of suspected UK variant of Covid-19 rising

The number of suspected cases in Bulgaria of the UK variant of Covid-19 is increasing, Health Minister Kostadin Angelov said on February 3.

He said that of the number of samples tested at the National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, 33 out of 48 had been confirmed.

All the samples had been sent for re-examination, he said.

“The fact is that the number of suspected cases is increasing and we must be careful,” Angelov said.

He said that there was a gradual rise in morbidity levels in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia and the city was again in the “red zone”, meaning morbidity of more than 120 per 100 000 population.

All medical establishments in Bulgaria were maintaining 20 per cent free bed stock and were ready within 48 hours to make available further beds for Covid-19 patients, corresponding to 50 per cent of the capacity of the medical establishment.

Angelov said that in the third phase of the national vaccination plan the members of the Central Election Commission, the regional and sectional election commissions, as well as the mobile commissions would be immunised.

Bulgaria is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections on April 4.

He said that the number of vaccine doses that Bulgaria expects to receive in Feburary would be sufficient for the simultaneous implementation of the second and third phases of the plan.

A February 3 government media service statement quoted Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, speaking at a Cabinet meeting, as saying that 65.2 million leva was being allocated for “various activities for conducting the elections”.

Borissov said that together with the funds for the purchase of voting machines, the government has so far allocated nearly 110 million leva for the costs of preparing for the 2021 parliamentary elections.

There will be arrangements for voting using mobile ballot boxes or at a separate polling station for voters in mandatory quarantine or isolation, as well as for Covid-19 patients in medical institutions.

“All necessary means of protection will be provided, such as protective masks, gloves, disinfectants, and so on, to create healthy and safe conditions for the conduct of elections during an emergency epidemic,” the statement said.

Also on February 3, the Cabinet decided to postpone payment of the concession fee on Varna and Bourgas airports for the first half of 2020 by a further six months, with the new deadline being June 30 2021.

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

For as little as three euro a month, you can become a Patreon supporter of The Sofia Globe, with access to exclusive subscriber-only content:

Become a Patron!

The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to sofiaglobe.com's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=32709292