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COVID-19 in Bulgaria: Day 24


Mandatory wearing of protective masks revoked

Because of lack of public consensus, Health Minister Kiril Ananiev has canceled the order for mandatory wearing of protective masks in open and closed public places. "We strongly recommend that people use masks daily after leaving their home. Wearing a mask is an opportunity to avoid the introduction of stricter restrictive measures,"the minister said. The state will buy 1 million masks for socially disadvantaged citizens and those unable to buy them in stores and pharmacies. We have agreed the delivery of 2 million masks from China and we expect them to arrive in a week, Minister Ananiev said.

399 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Bulgaria

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 infected patients in Bulgaria is 399, according to data from the National Operational Headquarters. The new laboratory-proven cases are 20, as 19 out of them were in Sofia and one in the city of Pernik near the capital. 146 confirmed COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized and intubation was needed for 14. Out of the total number of confirmed cases, 20 are medical staff.

Budget update bill has been tabled in Parliament

The planned amendments set a ceiling on new government debt of BGN 10 billion (about 5 billion euros), compared to BGN 2.2 billion in current texts. The treasury deficit is expected to reach BGN 3.5 billion, representing 2.9% of Gross Domestic Product. Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov explained that the draft for budget changes was in line with the most negative scenario for the development of the coronavirus crisis. He added that taxes would not rise, despite the imminent increase in debt and deficit. Because of the COVID-19 crisis, the minister expects a 3% decline in the economy and a 2 percent rise in unemployment.

63 medium and large enterprises in Bulgaria affected by COVID-19 crisis

Enterprises employing over 37,000 people have been affected by the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to data, 78% of the affected companies place their workers on paid leave, 22% of companies resort to unpaid leave for their employees, and in 13% of companies, workers have been dismissed or layoffs are forthcoming. The most affected sectors outside the restaurant, hotel and tourism industry are manufacturing and light industry, car repair business, as well as the culture and arts sphere.

Medical guide for Bulgarian doctors compiles successful strategies to treat COVID-19

The Medical Expert Council with the Bulgarian cabinet has compiled a guide on successful Bulgarian and global strategies for coping with COVID-19. The 200-page report will be submitted for approval to the Bulgarian Ministry of Health and will then be available for use by all physicians in this country. The medical expert council has announced that the guidelines are based on serious publications from healthcare professionals around the world.

Bulgaria wants to buy 30,000 PCR tests From South Korea

In a telephone conversation with President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, Bulgarian PM Boyko Borissov has learned that Seoul has increased the number of fast analyses with PCR tests, in order to detect the virus early and limit the spread of the epidemic. The Bulgarian government showed interest in buying 30,000 PCR tests a month from South Korea.

Police imposes over 400 fines for violations of quarantine

So far, police officers have imposed over 400 fines for violations of the quarantine and almost the same number of fines over visiting parks and gatherings of more than two people. This was announced by Interior Minister Mladen Marinov. He pointed out that in case of refusal to comply with a mandatory quarantine, persons can be monitored through a mobile operator. The fine for such violations is EUR 2556 (BGN 5,000). However, it will be revised.

With regard to public urban transport, the measure for not allowing the gathering of more than two adults in public places cannot be implemented, the Minister specified

Bansko quarantine lifted, epidemiological measures remain in force

At 7pm Bulgarian time, the quarantine of the Bansko ski resort in Pirin Mountain was lifted. The town was the first to endure a 14-day full quarantine. However, all epidemiological measures valid for the whole country remain valid in Bansko, as well. There are also checkpoints at the city exits. Many Bulgarians, who lost their jobs in the resort but stayed there because of the quarantine, have packed their luggage to go home.

You can find all stories and important publications related to COVID-19 in Bulgaria at our special coverage section in English.

You can also follow all latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak and all measures in Bulgaria in all other 8 languages of Radio Bulgaria.

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