Health ministry announces flu epidemic: Schools will shut down between March 6-11

Still no confirmed case of coronavirus in Bulgaria, but hospitals are filling up with flu patients

Health ministry announces flu epidemic: Schools will shut down between March 6-11

Health Minister Kiril Ananiev declared a state of flu epidemic. All schools will shut down from March 6 till March 11 in response to the rapid rise of type "B" flu cases. All planned operations, maternity and pregnancy examinations, hospital visits and prophylactic examinations are all canceled for this period. 

Type "B" is considered ordinary, seasonal flu. The number of infected patients rose drastically over the past weeks, however, and the overflow in the hspitals might prove problematic in case of a coronavirus outbreak. The most vulnerable group for this flu is young people to 29 years old, the head of the coronavirus crisis response team General Ventsislav Mutafchyiski said Thursday morning.

He said the country still has no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus but the infectious disease units in many hospitals are full due to the type “B” flu.

The military hospital has admitted 11 new patients over the past 24 hours with symptoms of the coronavirus, who are undergoing tests for the disease.

The hospital is one of the largest in the country’s capital and acts as the base hospital for the coronavirus response efforts.

However, Mutafchiyski – who is also chief of the military hospital in Sofia – said It has also reached its capacity in the infectious disease unit. The clinic will close down the psychiatric ward and transfer the freed facility to meet the needs of infectious decease patients.

Mutafchiyski said his team will be looking into the possibility of transforming underused units in other hospitals in order to accommodate COVID-19 patients if the virus spreads in Bulgaria. He also told reporters that the country has no shortage of tests for patients with suspicion of COVID-19 infection.

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