COVID-19 in Bulgaria: Day 25

| обновено на 01.04.20 в 20:39

Bulgaria’s government calls for extension of state of emergency until May 13

The Bulgarian cabinet will submit a proposal to this country’s National Assembly to extend the state of emergency until May 13. Bulgaria is doing its best to limit the spread of COVID-19 epidemic, but the dimensions of the crisis cannot be assessed and forecasted yet, the arguments of Bulgaria’s Minister of Health read. The pressure on the health system can only be reduced by extending the state of emergency and measures for social isolation, the National Crisis Headquarters recommends.

Number of COVID-19 cases in Bulgaria rise to 422

A total of 422 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Bulgaria until now, data of the National Crisis Headquarters shows. COVID-19 death toll rose to nine people. The last death case was registered on April 1- a fifty- seven-year old man from the city of Kyustendil (Southwest Bulgaria). 20 people were discharged from hospital after they fully recovered from the infection. 10 new cases of COVID-19 were registered. 8 cases were registered in Sofia and 2 in Blagoevgrad. 207 people were admitted to hospitals. 18 of them are in critical condition. A twenty-seven-year-old person is the yongest Bulgarian who recovered from the infection and the oldest person who recovered from COVID-19 is eighty-year-old man. Insufficient reliability is the main problem of the so-called quick tests, the head of the National Crisis Headquarters General Ventsislav Mutafchiyski said at the briefing on the spread of the coronavirus infection and added that this was the reason why Bulgaria gave up buying Chinese quick tests.

Premier Borissov thanks the Bulgarians for their efforts against COVID-19

The world is facing a huge challenge- a war which claims many innocent lives. We must do our best to protect the life and the health of the Bulgarian people, this country’s Premier Boyko Borissov wrote on his Facebook page. The world is desperately looking for a vaccine against COVID-10, but we are months away from finding such a vaccine. Social distancing is the only prevention that proved effective globally. That is why we are undertaking such harsh measures. I can understand peoples’ frustration and discontent. Their lifestyle changed suddenly, but I would ask them to realize how serious the situation is, Premier Borissov added and underlined that nobody can still forecast how long the pandemic will last. 

Bulgarian Parliament temporarily suspends work because of coronavirus-infected MP

MP from the Movement for Rights and Freedoms Hasan Ademov was tested positive for COVID-19. For this reason, the work of the Bulgarian Parliament needs to be suspended for testing all MPs and the entire parliamentary staff for the virus. The parliamentary session on 2 April which was supposed to discuss the update of the national budget has been cancelled. We have work to do, the Chairperson of the National Assembly Budget and Finance Committee Menda Stoyanova said. We took the right decision to summon Parliamentary sessions for concrete reasons related to the coronavirus situation only, Menda Stoyanova commented and added that next week the Bulgarian MPs must hold a mandatory session at the National Assembly building, because the constitution does not allow them to hold sessions remotely. The option of holding the sessions in another, bigger hall is being discussed, where the MPs will be 2 metres away from one another as required during the coronavirus epidemic. 

Bulgarians accept emergency measures but fear for economy

Over the past week there has been no change in Bulgarians’ attitudes with regard the coronavirus, indicate the second wave of survey by Gallup International. Two-thirds of the respondents say that the measures taken by the authorities are sufficient. There is a slight increase, up to 20%, in the number of people who regard the measures as excessive, and they are mostly young people. The measures are “unpleasant but bearable” according to 82% of Bulgarians. What is worrying is the economic perception. One-third of respondents say their incomes have dropped, another 25%, mostly elderly people, say they expect this to happen. 6% have lost their jobs, for another 10% this is imminent. 70% say their jobs are not at risk. 

Bulgarian government designates border checkpoints with “green corridors” for supply of goods

The plan to provide “green corridors” along the European road network was put forward by the minister of transport, information technology and communications in compliance with the European Commission guidelines. On the border with Greece the principal checkpoints designated are Kulata, Kapitan and Petko Voivoda, and Ilinden as backup. The principal checkpoints with Romania are the checkpoints at Vidin and Rouse, with Oryahovo and Silistra as backup.
The points of passage along the borders with the countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey have also been set down with regard to which the EU has also taken action for a coordinated approach. Kalotina is the designated border checkpoint between Bulgaria and Serbia, Kapitan Andreevo between Bulgaria and Turkey, and Gyueshevo – on the border with North Macedonia. Passage across these “green corridor” border checkpoints, including all kinds of checks and health examinations of transport workers, should not exceed 15 minutes along internal land borders. “Green corridor” border passages must be open to all goods vehicles transporting all kinds of commodities. 

 Bulgaria's state budget has not yet been affected by the COVID-19 crisis

The Ministry of Finance registered a EUR 600 million budgetary surplus for the first quarter of the year by 31 March. Nevertheless, the surplus is falling because at the end of February it stood at EUR 700 million. The fiscal reserve remains at over EUR 5 billion. Year on year treasury revenues in March have gone up by EUR 75 million, or a total of EUR 5.56 billion. The increase us due mainly to incoming financing from European funds. Due to the extension of tax payment deadlines the implementation of the projected revenues from corporate taxes is lower. 

Social enterprises employing people with disabilities accept orders for production of protective equipment

The Bulgarian Ministry of Labor and Social Policy published a list of contacts of social enterprises that are accepting orders for the production of goods necessary for protection from COVID-19. At least 30% of the people employed in them are with permanent disabilities. These companies can manufacture 2,000 three-layer reusable face-protection masks a day, 10,000 antibacterial soaps, as well as hygienic solutions, hand sprays and protective clothing.

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 all other 9 languages of Radio Bulgaria.