Bulgaria’s Health Ministry to propose extending Covid-19 epidemic declaration by 4 to 6 months

Bulgaria’s Health Ministry is to propose extending the Covid-19 epidemic declaration by a further four to six months, caretaker minister Stoicho Katsarov told a news conference on November 12.

The extension will be proposed at the next meeting of the caretaker government, he said.

Bulgaria declared a State of Emergency on March 13 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This continued until May 13 2020, when it was succeeded by an epidemic declaration, which has been extended repeatedly. At its sitting on August 25, Bulgaria’s caretaker government extended the country’s Covid-19 epidemic declaration by three months to the end of November 2021.

According to Katsarov, the situation with Covid-19 morbidity and hospitalisations in Bulgaria was “improving”.

“There will be no lockdown. Data from the last week show a reduction in the number of infected, an improvement in the epidemic situation and there is no need for a lockdown in the country. The measures we took two weeks ago with the introduction of the green certificate have paid off,” Katsarov said.

He said that on November 11, the Health Ministry leadership discussed the possibilities for the supply of new drugs for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

The head of the medicines policy directorate at the Health Ministry, Dr Dessislava Velkovska, told the news conference that more than 180 000 vials of Remdesivir had been purchased and used to treat Covid-19 patients in serious condition.

Katsarov said that while Bulgaria had activated the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism, “so far we do not have to take advantage of their assistance”.

Separately, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on November 11 that its human medicines committee (CHMP) has recommended authorising Ronapreve (casirivimab/imdevimab) and Regkirona (regdanvimab) for Covid-19.

The EMA said that the committee recommended authorising Ronapreve for treating Covid-19 in adults and adolescents (from 12 years of age and weighing at least 40 kilograms) who do not require supplemental oxygen and who are at increased risk of their disease becoming severe.

Ronapreve can also be used for preventing Covid-19 in people aged 12 years and older weighing at least 40 kilograms. The company that applied for authorisation of Ronapreve was Roche Registration GmbH, the agency said.

With regard to Regkirona, the committee recommended authorising the medicine for treating adults with Covid-19 who do not require supplemental oxygen and who are also at increased risk of their disease becoming severe. The applicant for Regkirona was Celltrion Healthcare Hungary Kft.

(Photo of Katsarov: Health Ministry)

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