Covid-19: Bulgaria’s capital is dark red zone, but does not want to tighten measures

A day after Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia was classified as a Covid-19 dark red zone – meaning a morbidity rate of 500 or more out of 100 000 population – the city’s operational headquarters recommended not stepping up anti-epidemic measures.

In Sofia, the Covid-19 morbidity rate is 508 per 100 000 people, on a 14-day basis for the period ending October 10. It is the seventh district in Bulgaria to be deemed a Covid-19 dark red zone in recent days.

On Facebook, Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova said that the operational headquarters had proposed not closing kindergartens and schools.

“That is the proposal of Sofia operational headquarters, which we will send to the Minister of Health and regional headquarters, which has the power to implement measures in the territory of the municipality,” Fandukova said.

She said that 232 school classes were in quarantine, four per cent of the total, while in kindergartens, the percentage was just more than one per cent, with 23 groups in quarantine.

Fandukova said information about late payment of doctors and staff in Covid-19 wards, for more than two months, was “extremely disturbing”.

Sofia municipality would urge the National Health Insurance Fund to take immediate steps to pay medical staff, she said.

“Expectedly, the tension among doctors is very high, including against the background of the increasing number of hospitalisations. As of October 10, 1229 patients with Covid are being treated in the capital’s hospitals, of which 214 are in intensive care,” she said.

According to Fandukova, Sofia continued to be in the lead in the number of residents who had been vaccinated against Covid-19, but current data showed a significant downturn in those who wanted to be vaccinated.

She said that the deployment of anti-epidemic control teams was being stepped up.

Meanwhile, the district (different from the city) of Sofia is tightening measures against Covid-19, the district governor’s office said.

In Sofia district, currently a Covid-19 red zone, the measures will take effect on October 12 and last until October 24.

Large-scale events such as music and other festivals, fairs and folklore events are banned in the district.

Mass indoor sports events are banned, while there may be no spectators at outdoor sports events, except for those on the annual state sports calendar.

Visits to cinemas, theatres and other indoor stage events are allowed, provided that no more than 30 per cent of the capacity of the premises is used, people sit one seat apart, physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres is maintained and protective masks are worn.

Organised group visits to museums and galleries are banned. Also suspended are in-person classes at language centres, educational and other training centres, and dance and music schools.

Unlike the city of Sofia, other districts in Bulgaria that are Covid-19 dark red zones have been bringing in stepped-up measures.

Gabrovo district imposed heightened measures last week, and as of October 11, has been joined by the districts of Sliven, Vidin and Pernik, while new measures come into effect in Kyustendil district on October 12.

In Gabrovo, the measures are in force until October 17, in Vidin and Pernik until October 24, in Sliven until October 31 inclusive and in Kyustendil until November 10.

Private family celebrations such as weddings and baptisms, mass events, including sports, are suspended. Gyms as well as children’s centres have been ordered to close.

Cinemas, theatres and indoor concerts are allowed provided that no more than 30 per cent of capacity is used.

(Photo: Wengen/

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The Sofia Globe staff

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