10 new cases of COVID-10 for the day, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Bulgaria to 62

General Ventsislav Mutafchiyski

The head of the coronavirus crisis response team, Ventsislav Mutafchiyski announced ten new cases of the infection in a day during his regular press briefing. Earlier he announced of two cases – a nine-year-old boy from the U.K. on a ski trip in Bansko and his uncle. The latter has apparently been in contact with his sister, who has tested positive for the COVID-19.

The three most popular ski destinations in Bulgaria – Bansko, Borovets and Pamporovo – will end the season early. All lifts and slopes will close by tomorrow, March 17.

Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova announced on Facebook that the paid green and blue parking zones in the city center will be free from March 17 until March 29.

General Mutafchiyski said that for now "we can still enjoy the luxury of treating moderately severe cases in hospitals" but if and when patients begin overruning hospitals, this will no longer be an option.

The coronavirus crisis response team members and PM Boyko Borissov have all tested negative for the COVID-19, Dr. Aneliya Gotseva from the military hospital announced.

Meanwhile, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Interior have taken it upon themselves to monitor for quarantine violations. The Bulgarian Parliament passed special legislation after it enacted a state of emergency, providing heavy penal measures for breaking isolation protocols and other rules related to the coronavirus crisis. Offenders may receive up to five years in prison and 50’000 leva fine.

Although the legislator has provided almost extreme punishments for violating quarantine and other related protocols, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church continues and will continue to hold services. The church received especially harsh criticism for continuing to give Holy Communion.

The Ministry of Interior’s Chief Secretary Ivaylo Ivanov said it has no authority to stop the church from services but it has issued recommendations for allowing up to 30 people in a closed space.

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