Bulgarian PM Boyko Borissov tests positive for coronavirus

Borissov will remain at home, coronavirus daily cases continue to rise rapidly

Bulgarian PM Boyko Borissov tests positive for coronavirus

Bulgarian PM Boyko Borissov announced Sunday afternoon he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Borissov had contact with Deputy Regional Minister Nikolay Nankov, who tested positive for the infection on October 23. The PM tested negative both on Friday and Saturday, which prompted the Regional Health Inspectorate to lift the mandatory quarantine it had imposed on him and a number of other officials who had been in contact with Nankov. Borissov said he would self-isolate nonetheless, however. A third PCR test was done on the PM Sunday, which came back positive.

Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova wrote on Facebook she would be self-isolating after learning of Borissov’s test. She and the PM both attended an event together last Friday.

"Although the RHI lifted my quarantine, as early as Friday, I canceled all my meetings and public events. After testing negative twice, today I am positive with COVID-19. Overall, I feel a general indisposition, I will remain at home for the time being, as per doctors’ advice," the PM wrote on Facebook.

Meanwhile Bulgaria is continuing to register strikingly high daily coronavirus cases. 1043 new cases were discovered in the last 24 hours, although traditionally Sunday produces less positive tests because overall testing is lower on weekends. Seven people with the virus have died in the last day, bringing the number of deaths to 1084. The total number of coronavirus infections since the outbreak reached 37562 today, 18232 of those are currently active. Almost 2000 people with COVID-19 are receiving hospital care, 138 are in ICUs.

The most cases come up from people attending night clubs, Dr. Iva Hristova from the National Center for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases told bTV.

"The highest per cent of people infected with COVID-19 is among people who attend nightclubs. There are not many epidemiological surges in night clubs but where there are, the percentage is very high – about 41%. This is much higher compared to factories and offices," she said.

Bulgaria has not shut down bars, restaurants and nightclubs, despite the steady and rapid rise in coronavirus cases since summer ended. Some municipalities have decided to shut down nightclubs and bars due to COVID-19, including Sofia, for two weeks, starting Sunday, October 25.

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