Bulgarian PM urges better mobilisation in coping with Covid-19 surge

Each hospital, public or private, must set up stand-alone testing facilities outside its building, for patients to be quickly diagnosed and triaged to the necessary medical aid

PM Boyko Borissov

During an online working meeting of the government on Monday, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov called for better mobilisation in coping with the pandemic. He said, as quoted by the government information service, that each minister should be on the frontline in their area of work “unfailingly, so that the government, together with the Bulgarian people, act together like a fist against the pandemic”.

Borissov also said that the coordinated steps of the state institutions “must continue working with the strictest organisation, order and total mobilisation”. “This is what we are doing at the moment, with money, with care for the economy, with measures. No wavering,” he said.

The Prime Minister asked the Health Minister to make sure that each hospital, public or private, set up stand-alone testing facilities outside the hospital, where patients are to be quickly diagnosed and triaged to the necessary medical aid. “You can use whatever is needed: fire engines, police, protective clothing. The Finance Minister has provided everything that is necessary by way of funding. Medicines: any type of medicines for any type of patient. All this must be done with immediate effect,” Borissov said.

The Prime Minister also stressed the importance of people self-isolating after being in contact with Covid-19 positive people.

Borissov further reminded that institutions such as the National Social Security Institute and the Health Ministry have hotels and sanatorium facilities across the country that can be used as well. This could relieve the pressure on hospitals.

Borissov noted the importance for hospitals to be flexible and continue performing emergency surgery.

By a ministerial order, all scheduled hospital admissions and surgeries have been cancelled.

“Life must go on. I am convinced that vaccines will be available towards March and April, we will have something that will save the world and move forward,” the Prime Minister said.

He further stressed that court proceedings must not stop and that the state institutions should continue to function online where possible. “The State should not shut down. In many countries this is an easy approach. Lockdown is put in place and this is the easiest and the cleanest approach. We must persuade the people (to observe the Covid restrictions) using reason,” he said.

He also said that the government's decision not to resign - despite months of street protests demanding the government resignation - is in the best interest of Bulgarian people. “The government will do the hard work in these hardest of times but we must save the people and lead them out of the healthcare crisis, the financial crisis and the economic crisis,” Borissov said.

The Prime Minister said that the social and economic measures should continue and generate budget revenue. “With its IT sector and everything that is done in it and in the economy, we should move forward faster than the others. But we must save the people, this is what I want from you,” Borissov said as he turned to his ministers.

He also stressed the importance of interaction with the local authorities. “You must help the mayors any way you can,” he said, once again stressing that “there will be no lockdown but people must act responsibly, wear masks, keep their distance, so that life is not shut down,” Borissov said.

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