Bulgaria’s Parliament voted unanimously on November 10 to approve the second and final reading of amendments proposed by the Cabinet to the Health Act that abolish mandatory quarantine for those who have tested positive for Covid-19 and those who have been in contact with them.
The motivation for the amendments was that given the current epidemiological characteristics of the disease, as well as the availability of effective vaccines in the country, the conduct of Covid-19 surveillance and the readiness of the medical staff to treat the ill, additional restrictive measures such as mandatory isolation and quarantine should not be applied.
However brief the text of the amendments, they caused a lengthy and rancorous exchange among MPs over the handling in Bulgaria of the pandemic.
Kostadin Kostadinov, leader of the Vuzrazhdane party – which campaigned against vaccines and masks though it later emerged most of its parliamentary group had been vaccinated, said: “Who will bear the responsibility for the huge psycho-attack that was carried out on the Bulgarian citizens?
“Who will bear the responsibility for the damaged society, mental health, because there is such a term, because the people were pushed to the plane of collective insanity, almost? Who will bear the responsibility for all the imposed restrictions, fines that were collected then, the harassment of citizens?” he said.
Dr. Ivaylo Mitkovski of We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria: “Mr. Kostadinov, you should have come with me on duty at the hospital in Varna and seen the stretchers with the black sacks going to the morgue.
“Then you would have said other things. In all probability, you should put a memorial plaque at your headquarters for Covid-19, because it got you into the National Assembly,” Mitovski said.
“The pandemic has not disappeared, colleagues, it exists. It’s just that the virus has already mutated, a large part of the population went though it, a large part gets vaccinated and it is no longer what it was,” he said.
Manol Peykov (WCC-DB): “Twenty-eight – that’s the number of my friends and my friends’ friends who died from Covid. Not with Covid – from Covid, including my GP who got up one morning at 4am and the blood clot knocked him to the ground and that was it. Are you having fun, gentlemen?
“Mr. Kostadinov knows perfectly well what the reality is, he uses the gullibility of voters for his own political purposes,” Peykov said.
Dr Kostadin Angelov of GERB-UDF, who was health minister in the first months of pandemic, said that he would not forget how one night the ministry had to bring in refrigerated lorries to hospitals in Sofia because there was no place in the refrigerated rooms in the morgues.
“All these things we spared the Bulgarian citizens. We didn’t speak them, we didn’t show them, simply because it wasn’t humane at that moment,” Angelov said.
According to the government portal on Covid-19, to date Bulgaria’s death toll among those who had tested positive for the disease is 38 582.
A total of 1 325 714 cases have been confirmed, with 5354 active cases.
A total of 4 710 178 doses of vaccines against Covid-19 have been administered in Bulgaria.
As of November 10, Bulgaria’s Covid-19 morbidity rate is 50.02 per 100 000 population on a 14-day basis.
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