A 27-year-old Covid-19 patient who died in Tsaritsa Joanna hospital in Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia had a fake vaccination certificate, a doctor from the hospital said in a television interview on November 26.
Dr Kiril Peev told bTV that the hospital had seen an increase in admissions of patients who had fake vaccination certificates.
He said that the patient had had no concomitant diseases and claimed to have been vaccinated. After the patient’s condition deteriorated rapidly, doctors questioned him and he admitted that his vaccination certificate was fake.
The patient had sought a fake vaccination certificate because he had believed the lie that vaccination against Covid-19 would render him sterile.
Peev said that during on his visits, he had found that the patient had removed his oxygen mask. When asked why, the patient said that “oxygen burns the lungs”.
“It is absurd to say that oxygen burns,” Peev said. “Oxygen provides the necessary food to the cells so that the body can recover and fight this virus”.
He said that with the advent of the Delta variant, the average age of those infected had dropped dramatically.
“Before that, they were 60 to 70 years old. We already have 40- and 50-year-old patients with a very severe course of the disease. This was the third person under the age of 30 to arrive in a very serious condition.”
Bulgaria’s Covid-19 vaccination rate is vastly below the EU-EEA average. Daily, the Health Ministry emphasises that the vast majority of those who have died and who are admitted to hospital had not been vaccinated.
Bulgaria’s caretaker Health Minister Stoicho Katsarov, speaking at a news conference on the afternoon of November 26, said that co-ordination had been established under the auspices of the Interior Ministry against the distribution of fake certificates.
The matter had been discussed with the Interior Ministry, State Agency for National Security, state-owned IT firm Informatsionno Obsluzhvane, the National Health Insurance Fund and the Chief Directorate for Combating Organised Crime.
“The biggest punishment for people who take advantage of fake certificates is the virus itself,” Katsarov said. “You can lie to the administration but you cannot lie to the virus.”
He said that he hoped that more people would understand that getting a fake certificate was “the stupidest decision”.
Katsarov said that following a recommendation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), children in Bulgaria from five to 11 would be able to receive vaccinations.
On November 25, the EMA said that its human medicines committee had found that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could be administered to childre in that age group, albeit with a smaller dose.
Katsarov said that children could not undergo medical procedures without the consent of a parent or guardian. This principle applied to Covid-19 vaccination too, he said.
Professor Mira Kozhuharova, an adviser to the Health Ministry, said that in Bulgaria “the peak has already passed, it is gradually decreasing”.
The rate of the number of deaths was also declining, although it remained high, Kozhuharova said. This high rate of deaths was primarily due to people refusing to be vaccinated, she said.
In other Covid-19 news in Bulgaria:
Sofia municipality announced that on the weekend of November 27 and 28, eleven municipal vaccination points would be available.
The vaccination points include the metro station at the National Palace of Culture, open from 9am to 2pm, and between Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski and Eagle Bridge, open from noon to 5pm.
There will be vaccination points at Paradise Mall, Ring Mall, Serdica Mall, Bulgaria Mall and The Mall in Tsarigradsko Chaussee, from 1pm to 6pm.
Other vaccination points include those at the cultural centre in the Druzhba residential area, from 9am to 4pm, at the polyclinic at 17 Ivan Boychev Street in Lyulin 9, open from 9am to 2pm, and at the diagnostic-consulting centre at 3 General Nikola Zhekov Street in the Svoboda neighbourhood, from 10am to 2pm.
On November 27, there will be an immunisation point at New Bulgarian University from 8.30am to 12.30pm.
Bulgaria’s Education Ministry announced on November 26 that caretaker minister Nikolai Denkov had signed an order allowing the heads of schools who organise twice-weekly testing of pupils will be paid bonuses of 160 leva (about 80 euro) in November and December 2021.
From November 10, pupils in grades one to four are allowed to return to class on the basis of being tested twice weekly for Covid-19.
As of November 11, teaching and non-teaching staff who carry out the tests on pupils receive a bonus of 100 leva a month.
(Photograph of Tsaritsa Joanna Hospital: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)
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