Epidemic state of emergency extended

Photo: EC

The Council of Ministers has adopted a decision to extend the state of emergency declared in response to the pandemic, which was originally set to expire on 1 August and is now to continue at least until 31 August 2021, the press office of the interim government announced.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO) data, the total number of Covid-19 cases worldwide exceeded 190m as of 18 July, while the number of deaths was over 4m. More than 3.4m new cases were reported for the week of 12-18 July, which marks a 12% rise compared to the previous week. At the current rate that the pandemic is developing, the overall number of cases is expected to surpass 200m in the next three weeks.

Globally, as of 20 July, Bulgaria is ranked seventh in terms of overall mortality rate related to Covid-19 and 67th in 14-day rolling average of mortality. The infection rate had gone down across all age groups as of 20 July, with numbers for the past couple of days indicating an increase in the 14-day rolling average among people under the age of 39 and elderly people over 90.

As of 18 July, only 18.1% of the vaccination-eligible population in Bulgaria had received one shot of a Covid-19 vaccine, while 16.2% had received a second shot, which ranks the country last among members of the EU/EEA, the press release notes.

The cabinet press office underlines the need to maintain the lowered infection rate and prepare the healthcare system as a whole and the public healthcare system in particular for a potential new surge. Strict implementation of health requirements by border health control authorities when admitting people to the country and introducing restrictions for access to the country will help reduce the possibility of new variants spreading in Bulgaria. A key measure in combating contagious diseases is vaccination as a prevention step, which is why it is so important for people across age and social groups to be better informed of the benefits of taking the vaccine and how that decision helps protect their loved ones from Covid-19.

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