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Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Day 261

Photo: BTA

Health Minister proposes tightening measures against Covid-19

The growth of the number of coronavirus patients in recent weeks dictates the need for very restrictive measures. Otherwise, the health system would not cope with the situation. This was what Minister of Health Kostadin Angelov said today at a briefing after a meeting with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. The measures proposed by Angelov include:

- extension of declared emergency epidemic situation by 4 months - until the end of March 2021;

- suspension of attendance classes, practices and internships in all universities, schools, kindergartens and nurseries, as well as extracurricular activities;

- suspension of collective sports events, congress-conference events, seminars and privately organized celebrations.

- extension of the ban on visits to discos and nightclubs.

- suspension of the work of the restaurants and entertainment establishments. Restaurants should only work for home deliveries.

- suspension of all non-food stores, including malls, with the exception of pharmacies, drugstores, postal and payment service providers, banks, insurers.

- suspension of internal and external excursions. No restrictions on the activity of public transport.

The measures are to be discussed by the Council of Ministers. If adopted, the proposed restrictions will take effect on Friday - November 27.

Prime Minister Borissov opposes complete stop of economy

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov opposes a new complete lockdown of the country because of the spread of Covid-19 despite the fact there is serious pressure on the health-care system. According to him, restrictions should not be excessive, as this country needs a functioning economy. He said this at a meeting with the National Headquarters before posting a message in social networks. "I know that our health care system is fighting heroically. That is why every day we have 1200-1300 recovered… Indeed, the problem is with people with concomitant diseases and the elderly. I was hit very hard myself," Borissov said, pointing out that the vast majority of people were not seriously affected by the virus. The Prime Minister said that everything the government did for the economy, the market, the rise of incomes could be done only in the conditions of a working economy.

Back in class but with masks

As of today, in most parts of the country, students from 5th to 12th grade are returning to the classrooms. Masks for them are already mandatory in the classes, it is still mandatory to wear them in the common areas of schools. In the school yard, students and teachers will be able to be without a mask or helmet when there is no interaction with another class. Returning to class does not apply to Sofia. In the capital, students from 6th to 12th grade will study online at least until the end of the month.

25% of medical staff at regional hospital in Blagoevgrad has Covid-19

More than 25% of the medical staff working on the front line in the fight in the Blagoevgrad Regional Hospital, which operates as a Covid-19 hospital, are infected with coronavirus. Many of the medical professionals also have developed complications. The director of the hospital, Dr. Ogyan Mitev, has announced that all beds in the hospital are occupied, and that there are many people waiting in the emergency ward with severe complications. According to Dr. Mitev, due to the high rise in new patients, it is necessary to close all facilities in the country that are not of vital importance, BNR's correspondent in Blagoevgrad reported. Meanwhile, the municipal hospital in Svishtov has also announced that they are urgently looking for doctors and nurses.

Bulgaria reports 40% positive PCR tests in past day

Bulgaria has registered a total of 1,123 new cases of coronavirus with 2,787 PCR tests performed in the past 24 hours, data of the National Coronavirus Information Portal shows. The positive tests are a little over 40%. The confirmed cases since the beginning of the epidemic in Bulgaria have reached 121,820. Currently, there are 82,416 active cases. 6,350 patients are now in hospital, with 408 in intensive care units. 772 people were cured during the past day as the number of people cured since the beginning of the pandemic is 36,524. 60 people died of Covid-19 complications in the past day, which brings the total number of deaths to 2,880.

Bulgaria has highest Covid-19 mortality per capita in EU

Bulgaria has the highest mortality rate from Covid-19 in the EU, according to the European Centre for Infectious Diseases Control, quoted by 24 Chasa daily. In the last 7 days, the coronavirus-related death rate in Bulgaria has reached 15 people per 1 million population. From November 14 to 23, Bulgaria has reported 729 deaths, compared to 459 fatalities in the previous week. In the opinion of Tihomir Bezlov from the Centre for the Study of Democracy, if the patients currently in intensive care are taken into account, the mortality rate will most probably increase. On a global level, Bulgaria ranks second in mortality in the world, according to worldometer.info. The statistics are based on data from November 21, when Bulgaria reported 129 deaths. Based on this indicator, only North Macedonia is ahead of Bulgaria with 18.8 deaths from coronavirus per 1 million population.

Constitutional Court opens a case filed by Bulgarian Socialist Party

Bulgaria's Constitutional Court has opened a case at the request of the Bulgarian Socialist Party. The opposition party considers unconstitutional the decision that MPs placed in isolation because of Covid-19 should be allowed to participate in parliamentary sessions online. The decision contradicts the basic law that plenary sessions begin when "more than half of MPs are present," the BSP says. The ruling GERB and United Patriots parties changed the parliamentary rules due to quorum problems. If the Constitutional Court declares the change unconstitutional, it will compromise the decisions voted until now via remote participation of MPs in the plenary sessions.

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 9 more languages at Radio Bulgaria.

Editor: Gergana Mancheva

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