Four COVID-19 cases confirmed in Bulgaria

The coronavirus crisis response team announced the first two cases late Saturday night

General Ventsislav Mutafchiyski

The COVID-19 crisis response team announced late Saturday night it had confirmed the first two cases of coronavirus in the country. One was of a young man in the city of Pleven, the other – a 75-year-old woman from Gabrovo.

During testing of individuals who have been in contact with the two, two more cases were confirmed by Sunday morning. A 61-man who interacted with the 27-year-old patient from Pleven also tested positive, as did a medical professional who treated the woman from Gabrovo.

None of these four cases, however, are patient zero. None of them had traveled anywhere lately. The coronavirus crisis response team asserts patient zero must have come in to the country from Greece. Italy is the second most probable point of origin, PM Boyko Borissov said.

The head of the COVID-19 response team General Ventcislav Mutafchiyski said the test stock is more than enough to meet the upcoming needs. He also assured there is no shortage of hospital beds in Sofia and the country, although, admittedly, the infectious decease units of many hospitals, including the military hospital in Sofia, reached its capacity several days ago due to the flu outbreak.

The flu “B” outbreak was the reason for all schools to close last Friday. The Health Ministry declared a state of epidemic between March 6-11 on Thursday. Apart from schools and kindergartens, the New Bulgarian University in Sofia also ceased classes, following the recommendation of the ministry. Most planed medical procedures and examinations were also canceled under the state of epidemic.

It is yet unclear whether the shutdown of schools and limit of medical activities would continue due to the coronavirus, but for now at least the Ministry of Culture recommended for all cultural events to be canceled, including in theaters and cinemas. The Cabinet accepted and the PM confirmed the government will be issuing orders to that end in the coming days.

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