Bulgaria may tighten anti-epidemic measures if Covid-19 cases continue to surge

Bulgaria may tighten anti-epidemic measures if Covid-19 cases continue to surge

The trend of surging number of Covid-19 cases in Bulgaria continues, the UK variant of the virus is affecting more and more young people, so if necessary, additional anti-epidemic measures will be introduced. This was discussed at a working meeting with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, attended by Health Minister, Kostadin Angelov and representatives of the National Operational Headquarters (coronavirus task force) on March 9.

The PM pointed out that there is no prescription for dealing with the new virus, but hospitals cannot be put at risk.

He added that the vaccination should be actively continued. At the moment more than 100,000 doses of vaccines have been delivered to the country, which allows immunization of 15,000-20,000 people a day.

"Half a million doses are expected by the end of March and the beginning of April, and with the launch of the online registration system for Covid-19 jabs, we have 60,000 registered," the PM stressed.

The Minister of Health, Kostadin Angelov, said that there is a trend for a surge in the number of cases - of the sick, of the deceased and of the patients admitted to hospitals. After yesterday's meeting of the Minister with the Heads of Regional Health Inspectorates in the country, the situation was reported as alarming in 9 districts, where the incidence is high and a large percentage of the test samples with the UK variant of the virus is registered.

Rousse and Montana are again in the "red zone" in terms of Covid-19 morbidity, so 24 districts in Bulgaria are currently designated as red zones. Out of the 28, Vidin, Kardzhali and Ragrad are orange zones, which means less than 120 infected per 100,000 people and Targivishte is in the yellow zone, where the number of caes is 41 per 100,000.

"In this regard, we commented on the decision to introduce additional anti-epidemic measures that would lead to results and control of the disease in these areas," Angelov said. According to him, the biggest problem at the moment is the fast filling of hospital beds. "From another point of view, the country is fully prepared with the availability of protective equipment, consumables, medicines. Vaccination is going at an extremely good pace," the Minister of Health said and added that the work of all vaccination centres will start on Thursday with those who have registered in the electronic system.

"We continue to compete with the virus," Angelov said, noting that if the upward trend in case numbers continues, restrictive measures will be proposed to curb the spread.

According to Chief state Health Inspector, angel Kunchev, the main reason for the current situation is the prevalence of the UK variant of the virus. Kunchev added that the measures should be as sparing as possible for the economy and the social system, but at the same time not allow to reach the peak of the morbidity, which will bring the health system to its knees. "The positive thing is that where we have done immunizations, the results are positive," added Angel Kunchev.

The chairman of the National Operational Headquarters (the coronavirus task force) and head of the Military Medical Academy, Ventsislav Mutafchyiski, expressed concerns about the depletion of hospital beds. According to him, in addition to the incidence, the increase in mortality is worrying. "The increase in cases can only be controlled in ways that are old-fashioned but proven over time. We cannot count on the pandemic to go away. There must be measures. That is why the talks with the heads of the local RHIs have been actively going on since yesterday ", added the head of the task force.

The director of the National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases and a member of the task force, Prof. Todor Kantardzhiev, informed that the sharp rise in the number of cases in some areas of the country is due to the UK variant of the coronavirus. "This option has also led to a change in the age structure. More and more young people are infected with this strain. That is why it is extremely necessary for people to continue to comply with the existing anti-epidemic measures, " said Prof. Kantardzhiev.

In the next 4 weeks it will be extremely important for people to observe the measures much more strictly and to protect their relatives, the director of "Pirogov" emergency hospital, Prof. Assen Baltov, said.

"The implementation of the vaccination plan from the first to the fourth phase continues as a priority. We have regular deliveries of vaccines,",the executive director of the Executive Agency for Medicines Bogdan Kirilov said. The total confirmed amount for March is 300,000 doses and confirmation of further 200,000 doses of vaccines is expected. "We already have indicative quantities for the month of April. For the Pfizer / Biontech vaccine, there is an increase of more than 2 times the expected deliveries for April - about 250,000 doses. About the "Moderna" vaccine - over 80,000 doses and we expect confirmation for doses from the "Astra Zeneca" vaccine, informed Bogdan Kirilov.

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