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Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Day 74

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Bulgarians get used to living with Covid-19 without fear

60% of Bulgarians believe that the Covid-19 infection is dangerous, but still they perceive it as primarily a severe form of flu,  shows the latest Gallup International poll conducted between 15 and 18 May. 20% of respondents believe that the coronavirus does not pose a serious danger and is an exaggerated threat. Only 17% perceive the epidemic as a deadly danger. 86% of respondents believe that Bulgaria is coping relatively well with the epidemic compared to other European countries.

Indoor collective sports activities allowed as of May 22

Bulgaria will allow the indoor collective sports activities on May 22, but competitions with audience will be still prohibited, a new regulation of this country’s Minister of Health Kiril Ananiev reads. On May 26, the individual indoor and outdoor collective activities for children aged 18 or under will be allowed as well. However, they will be also held behind closed doors.

Elderly and chronically ill persons not to be mandatory hospitalized

In case of an established Covid-19 infection, senior citizens above 60 years of age and chronically ill people will not be necessarily treated in a hospital, Bulgaria's Minister of Health Kiril Ananiev announced.With the new order issued by the Health Minister, the hospital treatment in the case of a confirmed Covid-19 infection will now be at the recommendation of the person's GP if they believe that the disease is in a severe form. Refusal of hospitalization will be stated explicitly in writing. Minister Ananiev issued an amendment to an earlier order stipulating a mandatory hospital treatment for these social groups after lawyers appealed with the Supreme Administrative Court to overturn the ministerial order. The group of lawyers fighting for human rights protection regard the forcible hospital treatment as a form of imprisonment that will be applied without a court order. 

The National Coronavirus Headquarters will exist at least until the end of the emergency epidemic situation

 Prime Minister Boyko Borissov will decide when to disband it because he created it, Bulgaria's Health Minister Kiril Ananiev said. After the end of the Covid-19 crisis, a change in the financing of the country's healthcare system is forthcoming, said Ananiev. At this stage, no increase in the health contribution of working citizens is commented.

For the second consecutive day, the number of recovered patients exceeds the number of new infections 

33 new cases of Covid-19 have been identified in the last 24 hours thus bringing the total number of coronavirus infections to 2,292, the National Operational Headquarters for Combating Coronavirus announced. 285 patients are currently in hospitals, 33 of them are in intensive care. 9,749 tests per 1 million people were carried out. There have been 4 new fatalities in the past 24 hours, bringing the country's coronavirus death toll to 116. 

EC advises Bulgaria to improve access to health system and ensure adequate social protection

In the context of addressing the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic effectively, the European Commission recommends that Bulgaria “ensure adequate social protection and essential services for all and strengthen active labour market policies, improve access to distance working and promote digital skills and equal access to education.” 

Bulgaria also needs to “address the shortcomings in the adequacy of the minimum income scheme.” Another recommendation is for Bulgaria to “streamline and accelerate the procedures to provide effective support to small and medium-sized enterprises and self-employed, also ensuring their continued access to finance and flexible payment arrangements.” 

The country also needs to “mobilise adequate financial resources to strengthen the resilience, accessibility and capacity of the health system.”

St. St. Constantine and Helena resort welcomed its first summer tourists

Bulgaria’s Black Sea resort St. St. Constantine and Helena has already welcomed its first guests in the safest possible environment in all hotels, restaurants and Spa complexes. The beaches are waiting for their regular visitors.

Police focus on face masks and social distancing

As restrictive measures are eased the police are turning their attention to observance of the requirements for social distancing and wearing face masks in indoor public spaces, including in public transport vehicles, Interior Minister Mladen Marinov said in parliament.

In his words imposing fines for non-compliance with anti-epidemic requirements is not an end in itself but a way to ensure general prevention. Minister Marinov stated that there are around 20,000 people in the country currently under quarantine because of Covid-19. 

Compiled by: Gergana Mancheva and Radio Bulgaria’s news team

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