Bulgaria’s PM again urges vaccination against Covid-19, pledges it will not be mandatory

In a video address on January 8, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Kiril Petkov repeated his call to the public to be vaccinated against Covid-19, while pledging that vaccination will not be mandatory while he is head of government.

Petkov’s call came against the background of deteriorating Covid-19 morbidity in Bulgaria, the country with the worst rate of vaccination in the EU-EEA area.

He said that Bulgaria was on the verge of a fifth wave of the pandemic.

Five thousand hospital beds were occupied by people infected with Covid-19, while yesterday alone, there were 5500 new cases, Petkov said.

The only way to limit the damage from the pandemic was through vaccination, Petkov said.

In the past three days, 100 000 Bulgarians have done so. On January 7, the number was 35 000. Already two million Bulgarians have been fully vaccinated, a government statement said.

Petkov called on Bulgarians not to be afraid of vaccines, to seek the opinion of their GPs, to realise that vaccines against Covid-19 are recommended even for people with various diseases.

He said that if Bulgaria could reach the point that 75 per cent of the population was vaccinated “we will be able to preserve the economy, we will be able to ensure the normal education of our children and most importantly – we will not witness patients on hospital stairs”.

Earlier this week, on January 6, Bulgaria’s Health Ministry recommended that anyone with symptoms of acute respiratory or intestinal disease (such as fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, olfactory loss, intestinal disorder, and fatigue) should isolate themselves until the complaints subside.

They should limit their contacts with other people, the Health Ministry said.

It was advisable to avoid visiting mass events and places where there are crowds, it said.

The ministry issued a reminder that wearing a protective face mask is mandatory both indoors and outdoors if it is impossible to observe physical distance.

Exceptions are allowed only for children under six years of age, customers in restaurants and drinking establishments, sports during physical activity, participants in television shows, conferences, congresses, briefings, news conferences and while speaking at a seminar.

Employers should ensure employees were wearing protective masks properly, observing physical distancing, where possible, should not admit people who had symptoms of acute respiratory or intestinal disease, should ensure compliance with hygiene measures and allow remote work where possible, the Health Ministry said.

(Photo of Petkov: government.bg)

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