Caretaker Health Minister: Bulgaria will be a Covid-19 ‘orange zone’ in up to 10 days

If current trends continue, Bulgaria will move from the “green zone” to “orange zone” level of the rate of Covid-19 infections in seven to 10 days, caretaker Health Minister Stoicho Katsarov said on August 6.

The “orange zone” classification currently in use by the Health Ministry means an infection rate of more than 100 cases per 100 000 population.

Katsarov said that the Ministry of Health had developed a plan (as The Sofia Globe reported on July 8) for all scenarios for the spread of the virus, including the worst situation.

All necessary measures are planned, including for the operation of the health system – hospital care, emergency care, provision of medicines, according to Katsarov.

He said that each of the districts has the necessary level of readiness to meet patients with Covid-19, there is the necessary provision of medicines for the treatment of patients with Covid19, steps have been taken to provide reserves of additional quantities of medicines.

“For the most part, our country is ready to meet the next wave of Covid,” Katsarov said, speaking at a meeting called by President Roumen Radev.

Katsarov said that what could not be changed was the low level of vaccination, a result of the vaccination campaign having started disastrously, with a lack of vaccines and contradictory messages, which had created an attitude against vaccines.

According to Katsarov, so far nearly 70 per cent of doctors in Bulgaria had been vaccinated against Covid-19, and the number of vaccinated people over the age of 60 was “large”.

He said that nearly one million had received one dose of the vaccine.

Katsarov said that an update of this year’s national Budget was urgently needed, because all reserves for the payment of front-line medics had been exhausted.

The payment methodology had been changed, but if the National Assembly does not approve an urgent update, there will be no reserves to meet the growing funding needs during the epidemic, including of medicines.

Katsarov said that an update of the National Health Insurance Fund budget also was needed, as the NHIF would play a big role in dealing with a new wave of Covid-19.

He said that there were enough tests, protective clothing and disinfectants.

Caretaker Labour and Social Policy Minister Gulub Donev said that the necessary socio-economic measures that would have to be taken to help business and employment were ready.

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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