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Covid-19 in Bulgaria: Day 320

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New coronavirus strain poses serious risk to Bulgaria

The new coronavirus strain is already in Bulgaria and will start gaining momentum, this country’s health authorities warned at the regular weekly briefing of the National Coronavirus Headquarters. The number of recoveries continues to be several times higher than the number of newly infected, said Bulgaria’s Minister of Health Professor Kostadin Angelov. However, this situation may change, Chief State Health Inspector Associate Professor Angel Kunchev has warned. According to him, the good news is that the new strain does not lead to more serious illness, but spreads much faster. Mortality may increase significantly, as hospitals could run out of resources, the head of the National Coronavirus Headquarters General Ventsislav Mutafchiiski added. Currently, ten people in Bulgaria infect 5 or 6.

Easing of measures in education sphere

After January 31, when the term of the current emergency epidemic situation expires, only measures related to the return of students to class and the opening of gyms will be relaxed. According to Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, the decision to gradually ease the measures depends on the number of infected and dead people. Borissov said thatthis country was currently a small oasis and it is risky to easea lot of measures. According to him, this would lead to high morbidity and mortality, given the rapid spread of the new strain.

Ministry of Health proposes extension of emergency epidemic situation by three months

The Ministry of Health is to propose extending the emergency epidemic by three months after January 31. This has beenthe response of HealthMinister Kostadin Angelov to a question in the parliamentary health committee. "We assume that the new strain of coronavirus is already here. This puts in danger the future anti-epidemic measures," Minister Angelov pointed out. He added that there would be some easing of measures according to the already set priorities. This would apply to sectors such as education, healthcare, sports and culture as the development of the situation in this country will be closely monitored for 14 days, BNR’s reporter Mila Mladenova informed.

Owners of catering establishments prepare for protests

Owners of catering establishments and restaurants in Bulgaria are considering the possibility to launch protests, as the National Coronavirus Operational Headquarters said it was not discussing easing the anti-epidemic measures until the end of January. This was what the chairman of the Association of Restaurants Emil Kolarov said for Horizont channel of the Bulgarian National Radio. Representatives of the catering industry insist that the restaurants open at the beginning of February, and the entertainment facilities - at the beginning of March. The cabinet's proposal reads that measures will be relaxed no earlier than February 18. The Bulgarian Hotel and Restaurant Association has called for an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and ministers responsible for the sector not later than January 26. The Association calls for rise of compensations for the staff from February 1 to 100% of the remuneration and to 30% for the business.

National Board of Tourism calls for clear commitments to save sector

The National Board of Tourism has called for a new anti-crisis plan with clear financial and economic parameters, directly aimed at investors and entrepreneurs. The organization is also sympathetic to the concerns of restaurateurs due to the high degree of uncertainty in the industry and points out that the lack of predictability of the upcoming decisions creates great tension for all. Although it has so far declared its support for the health authorities in order to combat the epidemic, the board draws attention to the need of specific commitments to save tourism activities, as the measures taken so far were not very effective.

Bulgaria reports 4,600 Covid-19 recoveries in past 24 hours

482 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Bulgaria in the past 24 hours out of 8,057 tests performed, data of the Single Coronavirus Information Portal indicate. Around 6% of the tests have returned positive result. The total number of Covid-19 cases has reached 213,409 since the beginning of the pandemic. There are 29,660 active cases of covonavirus infection. 3,220 patients are being treated in hospitals, 327 of whom in intensive care wards. 37 people have died in the past 24 hours, thus bringing the Covid-19 death toll to 8,651. 4,600 people have recovered in the past 24 hours, thus bringing the total number of recoveries to 175,098. 1,901 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in the past 24 hours. 24,127 Bulgarians have been vaccinated since the beginning of the vaccination campaign.

Compiled by: Diana Tsankova and Radio Bulgaria’s news team

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