Bulgaria faces its heaviest COVID-19 wave

Bulgaria is facing the heaviest COVID-19 wave so far as the EU’s least vaccinated country. [EPA-EFE / VASSIL DONEV]

Bulgaria is facing the most serious COVID-19 wave so far as the EU’s least vaccinated country. Interim Health Minister Stoicho Katsarov warned that Bulgaria is currently using the ‘last reserves in the system’ for beds in the intensive care units.

“The number of infected is 25% higher than in any of the previous pandemic waves. The situation with the beds in the intensive care units is on the brink. We are currently using the last reserves in the system”,Katsarov said on Sunday in interviews with the Bulgarian National Radio and bTV.

Katsarov said that vaccination offers the only solution to the escape the pandemic. In Bulgaria, only 22% of the population is fully vaccinated. According to this indicator, the country ranks last in the EU.

Katsarov said that the requirement for a Green certificate should remain until the country returns to the green zone in terms of morbidity, for example, less than 100 people per 100,000 for a 14-day period.

“If we achieve the indicators of Western European countries – 70-80% vaccinated, the disease will be under control because so the population will have immune protection and even if there are infected people, very few of them will be hospitalised.”

The minister offered assurances that there is oxygen for the hospitals but did not rule out the possibility of banning oxygen exports if needed.

A few days ago, one of the largest medical oxygen producers in Bulgaria warned that “if the number of patients in hospitals continues to increase, there will be no oxygen next week.”

Currently, in Bulgaria, which has a population of 6.9 million people, there are 98,948 registered COVID infected. 7880 patients are hospitalised and 658 of them are in intensive care units.

(Krassen Nikolov | EURACTIV.bg)

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