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Fake vaccination certificates – outsmarting the system or playing a Russian roulette

Photo: BGNES

The fourth wave of Covid-19 continues to disrupt our rhythm of life. On Monday, Bulgaria’s caretaker Minister of Education and Science Professor Nikolay Denkov told journalists that since the beginning of the new school year, the number of quarantined teachers increased twofold and that the number of students placed under quarantine saw a fourfold increase. The district of Gabrovo is in the most critical situation, because middle and upper-grade students switched to distance learning until the end of the week. The situation in the districts of Kyustendil, Yambol, Vidin and Montana is no better. Several classes from five schools in the town of Vidin shifted to online learning, but the local authorities are not planning to introduce distance learning for all students.

“Some of the new cases of Covid-19 are among teachers, but most new infections are among students”, Dr. Ventsislav Vladinski, Director of the Regional Health Inspectorate-Vidin said for the BNR.

The number of new Covid-19 infections in Vidin district continues to rise. In August, there were slightly more than 200 people diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, whereas in September their number soared to more than 790. In Dr. Vladinski’s words, Delta variant accounts for 99% of all cases of Covid-19. It affects mainly children, adolescents, as well as young and active people aged 30 or under.

What should we do to prevent the expected outcome?

In the past month, Vidin district has been in the red Covid-19 list in terms of coronavirus morbidity. It is also at the bottom of the ranking in terms of the number of vaccines administered. According to the Director of the Regional Health Inspectorate, only 11%-12% of the whole population in Vidin region, which amounts to nearly 80,000 people, have received Covid-19 jabs.

Despite the dramatic figures and the increasing number of newly infected and deceased Bulgarians, trust in vaccines continues to be unsatisfactory. Only 1,340,793 out of all 7 million Bulgarians have completed their immunization cycle.

“Unfortunately, most political parties do not show responsibility in this regard because of the volatile political situation in Bulgaria in the past year. Most of the democratic countries made vaccination mandatory or promoted vaccination via various incentives. Bulgaria has neither made vaccination compulsory, nor stimulated vaccination, because the parties did not want to lose political dividents”, said MEP Petar Vitanov, Member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

The information about fake vaccine certificates issued in Bulgaria is becoming a major problem, MEP Vitanov contends. Several days ago, this country’s caretaker Minister of Health Stoycho Katsarov told journalists that the Prosecutor’s Office received dozens of signals about fake vaccine certificates.

“This is downright obscene and can be described asan irresponsibility that borders a crime – MEP Vitanov said for the BNR-Plovdiv. – In Bulgaria, the number of vaccinated people is many times higher as compared to the other European countries. The number of vaccinated Bulgarians diagnosed with coronavirus infection is much bigger as compared to other countries. Bulgaria does not use lower-quality vaccines, which automatically means that something wrong happens in this country, because if the Covid-19 vaccine is effective in Germany and Italy for instance, it should be effective in Bulgaria as well. This makes us think that fake certificates are issued in Bulgaria. As a result, Europe may stop recognizing the Bulgarian vaccine certificates.”

According to MEP Petar Vitanov, if the problem deepens further, the EU institutions may impose sanctions on Bulgaria. However, the lives that have been lost during the pandemic is the biggest sanction.

Compiled by: Vesela Krasteva

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

Photos: BGNES, BNR

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