Measures against the spread of Covid-19 take effect on July 20 in Bulgaria’s districts of Bourgas and Yambol.
In Bourgas, protective masks must be worn in medical facilities, pharmacies, opticians and social services facilities.
Enhanced checks must be carried out in the mornings to prevent people with symptoms of Covid-19 entering kindergartens and social homes for children and adults.
Employers must regularly ventilate and disinfect premises and not admit employees with symptoms of coronavirus.
The order issued by the head of the Bourgas regional health inspectorate did not include a recommended mandatory requirement to wear masks on public transport.
In Yambol, wearing masks is mandatory is medical, health and social services institutions, as well as in city and intercity buses.
The head of the Yambol regional health inspectorate, Dr Radostina Kalcheva, told Bulgarian National Radio that people must maintain a distance of 1.5 metres among crowds outdoors and when people are not from the same household.
There must be checks at children’s and social services facilities in the morning to prevent the entry of people showing symptoms of Covid-19, while, where possible, employers must allow staff to work remotely.
In Bourgas, the Covid-19 morbidity rate is 292.88 per 100 000 population on a 14-day basis, while in Yambol it is 210.74, according to figures posted on July 20 on the unified information portal.
The district of Varna has overtaken the city of Sofia as the district with Bulgaria’s highest Covid-19 morbidity rate.
In Varna, the Covid-19 14-day morbidity rate is 321.8 per 100 000 population, while in Sofia city it is 314.43. Sofia introduced anti-epidemic measures as of July 19, similarly requiring masks in medical facilities and pharmacies, distancing and remote work.
According to the unified information portal, as of July 20, Bulgaria’s national Covid-19 morbidity rate is 201.23 per 100 000 population on a 14-day basis.
Epidemiologist Professor Mira Kozhuharova said that the new plan adopted by the government last week lacked clear criteria as to which situations required the relevant measures to be adopted.
“Once again we are witnessing political decisions being made instead of expert ones,” Kozhuharova said.
She pointed to the low proportion of people being tested for the virus if showing symptoms.
Kozhuharova said that in the the EU, the norm for testing was 600 per 100 000 population, but in Bulgaria the level was 400 per 100 000.
“In practice, we cannot say how many people are ill, because of the low levels of testing,” she said.
(Photo of the pier on Bourgas beach: Vadim Zhivotovsky)
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