Bulgaria's regional development ministry said on Tuesday that it will re-allocate 40.4 million levs ($22.3 million/20.7 million euro) to the health ministry for the procurement of medical equipment and protective gear needed to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
With the funds, secured through the European Union's operational programme Regions in Growth 2014-2020 but left unspent, the health ministry will purchase ventilators for the needs of hospitals admitting patients with COVID-19, as well as consumables such as disinfectants, test kits, masks, gloves and glasses, the regional development ministry said in a statement.
The decision has to be approved by the committee in charge of the monitoring of operational programme Regions in Growth 2014-2020 to take effect. It has been made in accordance with the proposal by the European Commission to allow EU member states to mobilise additional funding within the limits of their operational programmes for the purpose of fighting COVID-19.
As of Tuesday, there are 201 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Bulgaria, including three deaths related to the disease as well as three recoveries. The country is currently in a state of emergency due to the virus.