Bulgaria’s capital Sofia introduces first-stage anti-Covid measures

Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia, classified as a Covid-19 red zone, has as of July 18 introduced first-stage measures against the spread of the disease, according to a statement by the municipality.

It is now mandatory to wear protective masks in health facilities and social homes, Dr Dancho Penchev, head of the Sofia operational staff, said.

Given the Covid-19 morbidity rate in Sofia, it is recommended that people wear masks in public transport and in other enclosed places where people gather, the statement said.

Professor Todor Kantardzhiev, a consultant to the municipality on the epidemic, said that the BA5 variant of Covid-19 would be dominant in the city for up to a month.

He recommended that public places be regularly ventilated as a measure against the disease.

Sofia deputy mayor Albena Atanassova said that the entry of outsiders to social services institutions was subject to strict compliance with anti-epidemic measures, such as the use of protective equipment, including disposable clothing.

Employers and residents of social services institutions are regularly being tested.

A campaign to inform the public and employees about the benefits of vaccines and compliance with the measures was continuing, Atanassova said.

A total of 3163 people use Sofia municipality’s social facilities, of which about 45 per cent have been vaccinated.

The largest percentage are those vaccinated are those in old-age homes, 65 per cent. Fifty-four per cent of employees in social service institutions have been vaccinated.

Disinfection of public transport vehicles was continuing, as well as in kindergartens and social service homes.

The Sofia operational headquarters instructed the municipal medical institutions to be ready to open beds for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

Separately, Bulgaria’s Health Ministry said on July 18 that nine districts were at stage 1 of the national operational plan for dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. The remainder were at stage 0, the statement said, without identifying any of the districts.

Being at stage 1 means that the regional health inspectorate in the district must introduce first-stage measures, as Sofia has done.

Bulgaria’s government adopted the revised version of the national plan last week, the latest government of the country to do so since the pandemic began. The plan envisages five stages, with responses to each stage. No government has yet stuck to its own plan.

The Health Ministry said that at a meeting of its departmental committee on the pandemic, it said that outbreaks of Covid-19 had been registered in several social homes in the country, and the elderly were the most affected by the new wave.

Arrangements had been made to ensure that medical facilities in the country are supplied with sufficient quantities of medications to treat the coronavirus infection, the committee meeting was told.

(Photo of Tsaritsa Joanna Hospital in Sofia: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria, please click here.

The Sofia Globe’s coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria is supported by the Embassies of Switzerland and Finland.

Please support independent journalism by clicking on the orange button below. For as little as three euro a month or the equivalent in other currencies, you can support The Sofia Globe via patreon.com:

Become a Patron!

The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to sofiaglobe.com's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=32709292