Bulgaria imposes lockdown as COVID-19 cases surge
SOFIA (BULGARIA) – Bulgaria said on Wednesday that schools, restaurants, shopping malls and gyms will remain closed until December 21 as it struggles to contain a surge in new coronavirus infections.
The restrictions, which will start late on Friday, are aimed at taking all precautionary measures from getting an already strained health system being overwhelmed.
Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said, “Only one thing has been proven to have an impact on COVID-19 – decreasing social contacts or quarantine. To ease the pressure on hospitals that are on the brink, we are introducing measures for three weeks.”
Bulgaria registered 4,382 new infections on Wednesday, bringing the total number to 129,348.
At least 6,365 people are in hospitals and about 400 of them are in intensive care.
Bulgaria’s COVID-19 fatalities per 100,000 people figure among the third highest in the European Union over the past 14 days, after Belgium and the Czech Republic, as per data. In total, 3,226 people in Bulgaria have lost lives from COVID-19 this year.
Chief health inspector Angel Kunchev told reporters, “The restrictions are needed to limit the spread of the infection, decrease the number of fatalities and allow each Bulgarian family to celebrate Christmas.”
Private gatherings will be limited to 15 people, and all restaurants, bars, cafes and night clubs will shut. Tourist trips at home and abroad will be banned.