Caretaker health minister: We will announce the decision for anti-Covid-19 measures on a national basis on Friday
Caretaker Minister of Health, Dr. Stoycho Katsarov, deputy minister Aleksandar Zlatanov, the director of Nation Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD), prof. Iva Hristova and the Health Minister’s advisor, prof. Mira Kozhuharova, on October 13 gave a briefing about the current situation with Covid-19 in Bulgaria.
“I see that many people are tense, false information is spread and false conclusions are made about the situation.” caretaker Minister of Health said at the beginning of the briefing.
“We will not speak about measures today, on Friday we are going to hold talks about measures on a national basis.” he clarified.
Katsarov is certain that measures should be individually implemented on a regional basis. He is of the opinion that there is no need to enforce strict measures on everybody.
“I once again attest to what I have always said – if a lockdown is inevitable, schools will be the last thing to be closed.” he said.
“There is no room for chaos, nor for panic. The system is well organized and well prepared.” said Katsarov.
“We make great efforts, we work actively to make sure that until the end of this month, those seriously ill with Covid will receive additional treatment with monoclonal antibodies. It is possible this could happen and all necessary documentation is being prepared.” dr. Katsarov explained.
He also commented on the vaccination with a third dose. He explained that according to the recommendations the third dose should be received by everyone, who has completed the vaccination course, but it at the discfretion of doctors and an order from the minister is not needed.
“There are no administrative obstacles, we have sent this stance to all Regional Health Inspectorates in the country” dr. Katsarov explained.
The situation is tense, it is not easy, but we are not in panic or chaos.” the minister emphasized once again.
He also made a remark about today’s protest by medical specialists in front of the Ministry of Health.
“I had a very pleasant conversation with the protesting nurses and I told them that I`m offended by their protest against me becuase during these recent months, my team and I have done more for them than others did for them over the years,” he said.
We parted with the words – for now, peace and love.” he added.
Is there a shortage of beds for Covid-19 patients?
There are currently 7,268 beds in total for Covid-19 patients, 760 of which are for intensive care. The number of occupied beds is 5,646 and 485 of them are for intensive care.” deputy minister Zlatanov explained.
The situation in Sofia is as follows: 1,569 beds, from which 231 are for intensive care. 1,236 of them are currently occupied, of which 212 are for intensive care. 333 beds are unoccupied, the deputy minister clarified.
There are 100 Covid zones, so we fit in the plan on a national basis, Zlatanov emphasized.
He responded to a question from the Bulgarian National Television (BNT), that there is no shortage of rapid tests at the moment. All Covid zones and other units in need have been supplied.
1/3 lower death rate compared to previous Covid-19 waves
So far, there have been 2 major pandemic waves. In the beginning, the infection rate was low, the increase ibegan in October last year, prof Kozhuharova explained.
From the beginning of August this year, the infection rate began to increase more gradually, she added.
Prof. Kozhuharova explained what was the infection rate during the previous pandemic waves and how it affected the death rate. The total number of Covid-19 deaths during the first wave was 7,920, while there were 8,459 deaths during the second one.
“As it can be seen from the statistics, the current death rate is 1/3 lower, which may also be a result of the 20% of the population that has been vaccinated.” caretaker minister Katsarov added.
Where are we in terms of the infection rate compared with our neighbours?
The head of NCIPD, prof. Iva Hristova, presented a comparative analysis of the infection rate in Bulgaria and other countries.
Compared to Bulgaria, the infection rate in Serbia is much higher at the moment. The figures are similar when it comes to other countries like Turkey for example – the Bulgarian infection rate is slightly lower. In Albania, the infection rate is also slightly lower than in Bulgaria. The same applies for Greece. In Romania the infection rate is much higher.
„At the moment, the Delta variant is confirmed at 100% by sequencing, but its 38 sub-variants are monitored as well.” prof. Hristova said. Because of its transmissibility this variant is currently flooding the world, she added.