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Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Day 70

National Operational Headquarters: Preparations for pandemic began in January and yielded good results

Bulgaria started preparing for Covid-19 pandemic back in January after monitoring the situation in China, Professor Todor Kantardzhiev from the National Operational Headquarters said at the morning briefing on Covd-19. Bulgaria adopted anti-epidemic measures much earlier than other countries, in order to avoid excessive pressure on the health system.

Official statistics clearly shows that the number of people infected with Covid-19 and the victims of Covid-19 in Bulgaria are lower than in other countries, Professor Kantardzhiev pointed out and added that Bulgaria adopted moderate measures-there was no curfew, citizens were not banned from leaving their homes and did not have to fill in declarations to do shopping. The number of Covid-19 tests made in Bulgaria corresponds to the resource of the country, Professor Kantardzhiev said further.

The total number of Covid-19 cases in Bulgaria reached 2,175

The total number of Covid-19 cases in Bulgaria reached 2,175, the National Operational Headquarters announced. 322 patients diagnozed with coronavirus infection were admitted to hospitals. 45 people are in intensive-care units. The Covid-19 death toll rose to 105 people. 573 Bulgarians recovered completely from the virus.

Pazardzhik hospital suffers staff shortage

The management of the Multi-Profile Hospital for Active Treatment in Pazardhik, South Bulgaria, has asked the other Bulgarian hospitals for help to fill the shortage of staff in the biggest intensive-care unit in the district. 14 medics employed at the hospital were infected with Covid-19 and are now staying at home. There are only three doctors left in the intensive-care units, but they are already exhausted. Four volunteers- oncologist Dr. Kristina Decheva who arrived from Munich, a nurse and two athletes- are helping the doctors.

Turkey opens its borders for Bulgarians who need medical treatment

Turkey will allow all Bulgarian citizens who need to receive medical treatment in Turkish hospitals to enter freely on its territory as of May 20, 2020. The patients can be accompanied by up to two people and will not be placed under mandatory fourteen-day quarantine, the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced. The patients and their companions will be tested for Covid-19 with PCR tests at the border checkpoints when entering Turkey and they have to pay for the tests. Samples for PCR tests will be also taken at the border crossings.

Unemployed Bulgarians will be able to work in agriculture without losing their social benefits

The unemployed Bulgarians who decide to work in agriculture will not lose their right to social benefits. However, this work will not be considered as work experience. This is one of the measures aimed to facilitate hiring of seasonal workers in agriculture published in State Gazette.

Aviation expected to rebound to 50% of the previous volumes by end of 2020

The Covid-19 crisis caused direct and indirect damages in the transport sector. It is not yet possible to tell the exact size of the damages, Bulgaria’s Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Rosen Zhelyazkov said in an interview for Nova TV. Organized transport and aviation contracted due to the travel restrictions. By the end of 2020 the aviation is expected to rebound to 50% of the volumes registered in 2019 and in 2021 it will reach 70% of the volumes registered last year. On Tuesday (May 19), a meeting between Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Romania will be held at the initiative of Bulgaria’s Premier Boyko Borissov to discuss coordinated actions to facilitate travel between the countries, Minister Zhelyazkov announced.

First historical reenactments held in Bulgaria after state of emergency

The first demonstrations and historical reenactments are held today at the Nicopolis ad Istrum archaeological site near Veliko Tarnovo, North Bulgaria, after the end of the state of emergency in Bulgaria. Visitors take part at demonstrations of clothing, accoutrements, crafts and way of life of the people from the ancient town in compliance with the physical distancing rules. Historical reenactments will be held there on Sunday as well.

Compiled by: Miglena Ivanova

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