Bulgarian parliamentary committee quarantined after MP positive for Covid-19

All those who attended a meeting this week of the Bulgarian National Assembly’s budget and finance committee, as well as two members of the energy committee, have been put into quarantine after an MP who was at the meetings tested positive for Covid-19, the Sofia regional health inspectorate said on January 15.

Temenuzhka Petkova, an MP for former prime minister Boiko Borissov’s GERB party and a former energy minister, is in hospital with Covid-19.

The Sofia regional health inspectorate checked parliamentary records to established who had been contact persons with Petkova.

She had been in the National Assembly chamber, but only for five minutes.

In other Covid-19 news in Bulgaria on January 15:

In a post on Facebook, Health Minister Assena Serbezova said that green certificates issued on the basis of a person having undergone Covid-19 were not being scrapped.

Serbezova called on people not to speculate about the issue.

The Bulgarian Medical Association (BMA) said that it was following “with bewilderment” the events of the past few days, the discussion for and against green certificates and the debates about what measures should be introduced to control Covid-19 in Bulgaria.

“Once again, against the background of increasing pressure on the health system, against the background of nearly 33 000 lost lives, including those of more than 170 colleague medics, we are witnessing how science and facts are being left in the background,” the BMA said.

It hit out at a platform being given to certain individuals whose arguments were based on pseudo-science, which led to suggestions that there were divergent opinions among physicians.

The statement came against the background of a meeting held by Prime Minister Kiril Petkov with representatives of those who protested this week against green certificates. The representatives included individuals well known to be sceptical about vaccines and other measures against Covid-19.

The BMA said that it was the job, and the duty, of physicians to present impartial and scientifically proven information.

“Therefore, we of the Bulgarian Medical Association categorically and once again declare:
The vaccine is the only known way to protect ourselves from the insidious disease. We, the doctors, have already set an example and more than 75 per cent of us have been vaccinated, together with the sick colleagues, we are about 90 per cent protected medics.”

The BMA said that the green certificate should not be revoked, especially during the height of the fifth wave. “Moreover, in our country it was introduced with a delay.”

The BMA declared its readiness to send its representatives with the necessary expertise and knowledge to the working group to be formed by Prime Minister Petkov to discuss the measures in the National Operational Plan for Tackling the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said that as of midnight on January 16, Germany had again included Bulgaria in the list of high-risk countries, meaning that digital registration was required and quarantine was mandatory for arrivals.

The obligation also applies to passengers transferring at German airports.

Arrivals may present a certificate of a positive PCR test from at least 28 days previously, but no older than six months before arrival in Germany.

A certificate of vaccination is recognised if it dates from 14 days or more after full vaccination.

Recognised types of negative tests include PCR or antigen test, in German, English, French, Spanish or Italian, performed not earlier than 48 hours before arrival in Germany. Antibody tests are not recognised.

Original documents must be presented, both on paper and in digital form. Photographs of the certificates are not accepted.

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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