Health Ministry: UK variant of Covid-19 found in 15 districts in Bulgaria

The presence of the UK variant of Covid-19 has been confirmed in 15 out of the 28 districts in Bulgaria, according to a March 8 statement by the Health Ministry.

Bulgaria’s National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases said that after sequencing of 413 Covid-19 samples at the centre and in Germany, the UK variant of the virus was confirmed in 303 of the samples.

The 15 districts are Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Bourgas, Blagoevgrad, Veliko Turnovo, Gabrovo, Dobrich, Kyustendil, Montana, Pazardzhik, Sliven, Smolyan, Haskovo and Yambol.

The South African, Brazilian and Nigerian variants have not been confirmed in Bulgaria, the statement said.

The National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases said that on average, 73.7 per cent of cases were the UK variant.

Its frequency was increasing, especially in the districts of Sofia, Bourgas, Kyustendil, Pazardzhik and Sliven, the statement said.

Dr Dancho Penchev, head of the regional health inspectorate in Sofia, said that the situation in the city regarding beds for those infected with new coronavirus was worrying.

Penchev told Nova Televizia that in recent weeks, there had been a steady increase in cases, by about 700 to 800 a week.

For now, there were still free beds in hospitals in Sofia, with 65 per cent of intensive care beds occupied and 55 per cent of beds for patients not needing intensive care, he said.

“The capital’s regional health inspectorate is in constant contact with the directors of the hospitals. If necessary, more beds can be found for those infected with Covid-19. The situation is being monitored around the clock,” Penchev said.

He said that he was ready to introduce additional measures if necessary.

Asked if it was possible to close the restaurants again, he said: “Yes, under certain conditions. At the moment, there are no specific thresholds at which to do so”.

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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