Bulgaria is in a very good position at the moment. As a result of the measures taken the incidence on a 14-day basis is below 100 per 100,000 people and we are one of the four European countries outside the red zone. However, the alarming fact is the spread of the new SARS-CoV-2 variant, which is already in Bulgaria and it is necessary to reduce the speed of its spread. With these arguments, the National Operational Headquarters recommended a gradual easing of the anti-epidemic measures in Bulgaria. This was discussed at a working meeting convened on January 25 by the Prime Minister in the Council of Ministers with representatives of the National Operational Headquarters (the coronavirus task force), the vaccination task force and ministers.
"Today we will take action to issue an order for entry into the country concerning all citizens coming from third countries and the European Union, with a requirement for mandatory PCR test for entry into Bulgaria. In this way, we want to secure the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria and to increase the security of Bulgarian citizens in terms of preventing the spread of the new variant of the coronavirus in the country, " said Minister of Health Kostadin Angelov.
The decision for resuming in-person attendance of school students from 5th to 12th grade in a strictly defined order as of February 4th was confirmed.
From the beginning of February, centres for fitness, sports, dancing and cultural events will re-open, as well stores in big shopping malls.
Prime Minister Boyko Borissov ordered the Minister of Health, Kostadin Angelov, to hold a meeting with representatives of the restaurants, bars and night clubs and to discuss again possible options for their functioning.
"Let them remember that a month ago there were people who died in ambulances while searching for vacant beds in hospitals. There were difficulties with finding vacant beds in hospitals, that was a month ago. Fortunately, with the measures we introduced, we stopped it within weeks," the PM said.
Borissov pointed out that if restaurants and bars start working again now and if there is an increase in the number of people infected with coronavirus, they will have to be closed again and in that case it will be more difficult for the state to provide aid, because notifications will be needed again.
Regarding the implementation of the vaccination plan, Health Minister reported that so far, over 26,000 people have been immunized, and 4,610 people have been given the second dose of the vaccine.
Vaccination of teachers will begin in some areas of the country. The lists of those wishing to be vaccinated from the third phase of the vaccination plan are also being prepared.
The executive director of the Medicines Agency, Bogdan Kirilov, said that more than 14,000 doses of vaccines have arrived in the country today. From next week, deliveries will be on a weekly basis. The decision of the European Medicines Agency is also expected for the third vaccine, which, if approved, will be available from next month.
Bogdan Kirilov also pointed out that there are sufficient amounts of Remdesivir, as well as medical oxygen.
Bogdan Kirilov: The Astra Zeneca vaccine is expected to be approved at the end of the week.
The Head of the coronavirus task force and Chief of the Military Medical Academy, Ventsislav Mutafchyiski and the Director of Pirogov emergency hospital, Assen Baltov, reported that the number of Covid-19 hospitalized and intensive care patients is decreasing in the medical establishments managed by them.
"Bulgaria is in a very good situation, but it was confirmed that the new variant of the virus is in the country and this is an alarming fact that should sharpen our attention," the head of the task force said.
The director of the National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases and a member of the task force, prof. Todor Kantardzhiev, noted that there was no medical evidence that the new variant was more severe, but certainly is more contagious.