Bulgaria marks a new record registering 16 coronavirus deaths in a day

Chief Health Inspector Angel Kounchev expects access to healthcare to become disrupted

Bulgaria marks a new record registering 16 coronavirus deaths in a day

Bulgaria marked a new record in coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours. 16 people positive for the infection have died in the last day, bringing the total number of COVID-19 fatalities to 404.

The National Chief Health Inspector Angel Kounchev expressed concern in an interview to NOVA TV that if the cases continue to rise in the same rate, medical professionals and medical facilities will begin having difficulties supplying all patients with the necessary care.

Bulgaria registered 204 coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours. Daily cases spiked more than a month ago and have maintained a rate of 200-300+ per day after the government abolished almost all measures to contain the spread of the virus.

Currently the number of patients in hospital with COVID-19 are 823, while 43 are in ICUs. Dr. Kounchev said his main concern is precisely to do with patients needing ventilation, both in terms of the number of beds and medical equipment, and medical professionals – anesthesiologists to treat the patients.

According to official data by the Ministry of Health, the Bulgarian healthcare system currently has allocated 7391 beds for mild cases of COVID-19 and 1324 ICU beds for the more severe cases. A large chunk of the ICU beds - about a third – of those are in the capital, Sofia: 430. As for the beds allocated for the treatment of cases, which do not require ventilation, 1137 are in Sofia, or about a sixth.

However, experts say these numbers are inflated. Not to mention, the beds alone do not say much about the personnel, needed for treatment of patients. If more doctors and nurses – who account for about 6% of the confirmed cases - get sick, even if the number of beds could accommodate the hospitalized patients, there might not be enough doctors and nurses to care for them.

Bulgaria has a total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus infection of 12159. 5071 of those are currently active. The trend for the past two months has been upward, with daily cases almost always surpassing 200 and sometimes 300. Bulgaria managed pretty well the spread of the virus at the beginning with very strict social distancing measures, which were gradually revoked in May and June. This led to a surge and steady increase in daily cases, which in turn prompted many governments to impose measures on incoming travelers from Bulgaria, marking it a high-risk country.

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