Coronavirus: Bulgaria, Romania face huge problems with fourth wave of pandemic

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THE Bulgaria announced on Saturday that it was ready to send Covid-19 patients abroad as a fourth wave of coronavirus flooded its hospital system, pushing neighboring Romania to increase its restrictions.

Health Minister Stoiko Katsarov warned on Nova TV that if the infection curve did not decrease within 10 to 15 days, there would be “huge problems”.

“Our capacity for staff and respirators is almost exhausted, we will seek help abroad,” he said.

“Discussions are ongoing with the EU on transporting patients to other countries, if we are to get there.”

The minister added that a new quarantine may be imposed.

Despite applying a health passport to places like restaurants and malls, experts point out that the current wave could cause 5,000 to 9,000 infections a day in two weeks, in this country of 6.9 million people.

Increase in vaccinations

Bulgaria and Romania have the lowest vaccination rates in the EU, due to the spread of conspiracy theories and citizens’ distrust of the authorities.

Only 24% of Bulgarians and 33% of Romanians have been fully vaccinated.

Romania, a country of 19 million people, has recorded 1.5 million cases, with 15,000 new infections on Saturday.

The government is stepping up measures to fight the epidemic, making the mask mandatory across the country from Monday and banning events such as weddings for 30 days.

At the same time, gyms, shopping malls and restaurants should require a health passport to enter them and unvaccinated people should comply with the curfew at 10pm.

So many measures could be the cause of a recent acceleration of vaccination in both countries.

The Romanian government announced on Friday that 130,000 people had gone to a vaccination center in the last 24 hours, of which a record 86,000 people had given the first dose of the vaccine.

Bulgarian vaccine centers also announced an increase in attendance following the implementation of the health pass announced on Thursday, with three times as many people getting their vaccine dose on Friday as compared to the previous week

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