Bulgaria throws its last reserves in fight against COVID-19

The health ministry is suspending the planned admission of patients to hospitals to open additional beds for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. [EPA-EFE / VASSIL DONEV]

The health ministry is suspending the planned admission of patients to hospitals to open additional beds for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. Intensive care units, in which over 600 patients are currently being treated, will have their capacity increased to 750.

The government will try to buy new respirators for hospitals, but the main problem remains the lack of sufficient anaesthesiologists.

Dr Atanas Atanasov, director of one of the largest hospitals in Sofia, Alexandrovska Hospital, announced that the hospital has only one free respirator out of 36 for the resuscitation of seriously ill patients.

“If the number of infected continues to increase, there will inevitably be a lockdown, which is the last resort,” Deputy Health Minister Alexander Zlatanov told national radio (BNR).

“It is difficult currently to determine whether we are at the peak of the fourth wave or going down because the number of tests has increased, but I hope we are right around the peak and this is the most difficult moment of the pandemic and to overcome it,” said Zlatanov.

Bulgaria reported another grim daily record of 6,816 people infected with COVID-19, which means that 0.1% of the country’s population has been infected with the virus in just one day. According to experts, the real number of infected is probably much higher. A total of 87.5% of the newly infected in Bulgaria are unvaccinated and 124 Bulgarians have died from the virus in the last 24 hours. Nearly 95% of them were unvaccinated.

The positive trend in Bulgaria is that the number of people who are vaccinated has quadrupled every day since last week. This is due to the introduction of a green pass for visiting a number of public indoor sites. However, the number of fully vaccinated Bulgarians remains very small – only 22% of the country’s population. Bulgaria ranks last in the number of Covid vaccinated in the EU.

(Krassen Nikolov | EURACTIV.bg)

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