Bulgaria’s Health Ministry said on June 3 that the “Combating Covid-19” project, financed by European Union funds, is being extended until December 8 this year.
The ministry said that it would announce two procedures under the Public Procurement Act to buy laboratory equipment.
Bulgaria’s first cases of Covid-19 were registered on March 8 2020, and in April that year, signed a contract for the “Combating Covid-19” project, funded using more than 40.4 million leva from the EU’s Regions in Growth operational programme.
Disclosing how the funding had been used, the Health Ministry said that 453 respirators to treat Covid-19 patients had been bought and supplied to state, municipal and departmental medical institutions.
Ten thousand high-class medical pulse oximeters had been provided to emergency medical care centres.
The National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD) received an automated extraction system and a real-time PCR detection system, with 46 000 extraction tests and 46 000 detection tests, as well as laboratory equipment of various kinds.
A total of 144 000 PCR tests had been provided to the NCIPD, Sofia regional health inspectorate, the Medical University Plovdiv, Medical University Pleven and the University Hospital in Stara Zagora.
Also purchased were 1.5 million surgical masks, 3 110 103 non-medical masks, 200 000 pairs of protective goggles, 2 391 600 protective fittings for footwear, 150 000 pairs of protective fittings for footwear, 60 000 multiple-use protective gowns, 391 098 single-use protective gowns and 20 664 litres of disinfectant.
The Health Ministry said that the main activities in the project were the provision of medical equipment, including devices for invasive respiratory ventilation and diagnostics.
“The aim is to increase the capacity of hospitals to treat patients with Covid-19, as well as the National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases,” the ministry said.
It said that protective clothing, masks, equipment, and other items were provided to staff of medical establishments, regional health inspectorates, emergency medical care centres, as well as to NCIPD staff.
Separately, on May 22, local television station bTV, citing data provided to it by the Health Ministry, said that Bulgaria had spent 320 million leva (about 163.6 million euro) on buying vaccines against Covid-19.
On June 1, local media said that Bulgaria – the country with the lowest vaccination rate in the EU-EEA area – had thrown away vaccines against Covid-19 worth about 4.6 million euro, about nine million leva.
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