Bulgaria’s Chief Health Inspector: Possible New COVID Measures from Monday

Health | July 13, 2022, Wednesday // 12:20|  views

Chief state health inspector Angel Kunchev @BNR

Today, the Council of Ministers is expected to approve the new national plan, in which the possible measures are listed. They may be implemented as early as Monday”. This was said by the chief state health inspector Angel Kunchev at a briefing.

The measures that are expected to be proposed are quite "elementary and light" - wearing masks will be mandatory only in certain places - medical facilities, social homes, places where more people gather, where there are sick people who have come to seek help or diagnostics.

"If the plan is accepted, I am in a position to make a proposal by the end of the week, so that it will take the form of an order of the Minister of Health and we will send it to all institutions for implementation. At this stage, masks in public transport and shops will remain recommended for the most affected areas," said Kunchev.

If the rate of increase in the incidence of COVID-19 goes like this, as soon as next week the circle of places where masks must be worn may be expanded. Both options are possible - to do this on a national level and on a local basis, explained Prof. Kunchev.

"One option is to introduce them now for 5-6 districts that are already ahead of the others, but the situation is very dynamic and I expect next week that other districts will also enter this group. So it is possible that a decision will be made and they will be directly national," said the chief state health inspector.

According to him, this will not cause any difficulties neither for the economy, nor for social life, nor for tourism.

"What will happen in the future is difficult for me to say because the number of sick people is growing, but there is not such a growth in the number of people who are hospitalized. We are monitoring the situation very carefully. It is obvious that the number is growing, it is all over Europe. If the virus continues to run milder as it is now, the consequences will not be so serious. I take this moment to say that anyone who wants to be safe needs no plans, no orders, no control. They can wear a mask wherever they choose, avoid places where many people congregate, take care of hygiene, ventilate the room. This is an effective enough measure in the summer period to sharply reduce transmission," said Associate Professor Kunchev.

He explained that the work is being done so that GPs can give referrals for rapid tests. And his personal desire is not only to give directions but also to do on-site tests. According to Kunchev, RHIs should have the operational freedom, where necessary, to open specialized departments.

"With the end of the emergency epidemic situation, many measures have been dropped and this hinders the work. The best way is for anyone who does not feel well to get a diagnosis as quickly, easily, free of charge and affordable as possible. The most normal thing is to do this at their personal physician with a free rapid test. It is best if the personal physician can give a referral for a PCR test, so that the patient does not go from office to office, but receives their diagnosis and their treatment at the very first meeting with a doctor."

10 districts in the country already have over 100 infected per 100,000 people. Both Plovdiv and Razgrad are now colored yellow.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Health proposed that GPs should once again be able to issue referrals for free rapid tests for covid.

Experts say we will quickly reach a peak of the contagion and slowly come down from it. There are no additional measures at this stage. The Covid map, which the health ministry is using to decide whether to tighten measures, shows that within five days two more regions will enter Stage 1 of the contagion. At this stage, the measures begin, educational institutions, for example, must test once a week the pedagogical and non-pedagogical staff, any visits to museums and other institutions, excursions and green schools are canceled.

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Tags: Kunchev, measures, covid, plan


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