Bulgarian government fears lockdown could lead to more protests

A man stands in front of a fountain waving a flag during an anti-government protest in Sofia, Bulgaria, 14 August 2020. [EPA-EFE/Borislav Troshev]

Bulgarian authorities will not impose a lockdown like some other EU member states because they are afraid of people’s reaction.

If there are more restrictive measures, and if the people are closed in their homes it will “take them out on the streets and the effect would be the opposite”, said Health Minister Kostadin Angelov on Wednesday.

Life can continue under the current restrictions, said Angelov, adding that a “lockdown will have no effect.”

Currently, restaurants continue to operate, while nightclubs, such as bars, clubs and discos have all been closed.

Though the health system has been working adequately, according to the minister, there is a great deal of personal evidence from patients showing that seriously ill people have been left in their homes. Such cases are very few as they are “below 0,03”, Angelov added.

“Our mortality rate is not the highest in Europe, which means that the capacity of the health system is still good”, he explained. Countries that closed everything in mid-October are still more heavily impacted by the pandemic than Bulgaria, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has said.

On Wednesday, Bulgaria registered a new increase in the daily number of people infected with the coronavirus to 4,390 cases.

The country’s total mortality rate in recent weeks in October has increased by about 30%, according to data from the National Statistical Institute, and COVID-19 is the only explanation for this. (Krassen Nikolov | EURACTIV.bg)

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