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Bulgaria Reports First Coronavirus Cases, Takes Urgent Measures to Curb Spread

The first four cases of the novel coronavirus were reported in Bulgaria early Sunday, prompting the Government to take urgent measures and precautions to counter the spread of the disease.

Four people in Bulgaria have been confirmed infected with coronavirus, the Director of the National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Prof. Todor Kantardjiev, told an urgent briefing here on Sunday.

Two male patients, 27- and 61-years-old, were diagnosed in the northern city of Pleven. A woman of 75 from the north-central city of Gabrovo and a woman from the medical staff of the hospital were she had been admitted, were diagnosed as well.

The first Bulgarian cases - the 27-year-old man in Pleven and the 75-year-old woman in Gabrovo, were announced by the national coronavirus task force at an emergency news conference shortly after midnight on March 8, but their test results were not fully confirmed until the late morning on Sunday. They had been hospitalized with respiratory problems and flu-like symptoms before undergoing coronavirus testing.

The 75-year-old woman lives alone and has not been in contact with anybody who was sick. Neither of the first two patients had been in contact with a person who had travelled to a high-risk country.

The two are reported to be in satisfactory condition and past the worst stage of the disease and the authorities are tracking down the persons the first two patients had been in contact with and are testing them for coronavirus.

The news about the first reported coronavirus cases came after Health Minister Kiril Ananiev issued a decree on Thursday declaring a flu epidemic in the whole of Bulgaria from March 6 to 11. This means suspension of all school classes, children's and women's medical consultations, regular checkups and immunizations, planned surgeries, and visiting hours in all medical treatment facilities.


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