Bulgaria’s caretaker Health Minister: ‘Not just a health crisis, a national disaster’

The Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria is critical and will be so in the next few weeks, caretaker Health Minister Stoicho Katsarov said on November 2.

His comments came as the unified information portal showed that Bulgaria had passed the 24 000-mark in Covid-19 deaths, including those registered in the past day being the highest number in a single day since the pandemic began. The number of active cases is also at a record high.

Flanked by officials from various health institutions, Katsarov said that the fourth wave of Covid-19 in Bulgaria was much more deadly, and the health system would not survive without the participation of society.

“We can get out of this crisis. Wear those damned masks. Do not go out for the next few weeks unless absolutely necessary. Disinfect, ventilate, stay at a distance and most importantly – get vaccinated. The health care system cannot cope on its own without the participation of all of us as citizens. The situation is critical and will be critical in the next few weeks,” he said.

Referring to the medics in the Covid wards, Katsarov said: “I know how difficult it is for them physically, mentally and emotionally, but I can say that I am proud of them when I see what they are doing to the best of their ability. But this is not just a health crisis, this is a national disaster”.

Emphasising that the vaccines being used against Covid-19 were safe, Katsarov called on the representatives of medical institutions to stand and hold hands as a symbol of their unity in the call for joint action to vaccinate and limit infection.

Against the background of the Covid-19 crisis being a major theme in Bulgaria’s presidential and early parliamentary elections, Democratic Bulgaria-backed presidential candidate Lozan Panov called on three other major tickets to come together and call for vaccination and compliance with the measures.

Panov addressed his call to the tickets headed by Roumen Radev, GERB-backed Anastas Gerdzhikov and Movement for Rights and Freedoms leader Mustafa Karadayi.

“I invite the presidential candidate couples to assume their responsibility and together, without political messages, to address our appeal to the Bulgarian citizens,” Panov said in a video message on Facebook.

“We have the opportunity from the rostrum of the presidential election, together with the other candidates – Mr. Gerdzhikov, Mr. Karadayi and Mr. Radev, to take responsibility and together stand before the Bulgarians and convince them that it is important to be vaccinated. It is important to keep to the anti-epidemic measures. It is important to maintain and control the issuance of green certificates,” Panov said.

GERB-UDF leader Boiko Borissov cited the figures for Covid-19 deaths in Bulgaria in launching an aggressive verbal attack on Radev and Katsarov, in which he labelled incumbent President Radev, who appointed the caretaker government of which Katsarov is a member, a “murderer of Bulgarians”.

“Urgent measures must be taken to deal with the health and energy crisis: the immediate resignation of Roumen Radev and Stoicho Katsarov,” Borissov said in a message on Facebook.

“The arrogance and deceit of Roumen Radev and his gang has turned into panic and horror. Because of their negligence, there is no other salvation for Bulgarians but God’s protection,” he said.

Borissov said that there were no hospital beds and no plan to get out of the crisis.

“I offered them an alliance to deal with the Covid crisis, and in response they handed me over to a prosecutor. And now they are holding hands in front of the cameras?” Borissov said.

“Once again, I call those who are governing and the parties close to them to forget about the elections and do everything possible to save the people. The elections no longer matter with 300 Bulgarians dying in one day,” he said.

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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