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Bulgaria has declared a nationwide influenza epidemic, closing all schools from March 6 to 11.
The order was signed on March 5 by Health Minister Kiril Ananiev, media reports said. Soon after the announcement, the ministry’s website could not be accessed.
The Health Minister’s order suspends routine medical consultations for women and children, routine examinations and immunisations, non-emergency surgical operations and visits to all medical establishments.
The ministry has recommended discontinuing university lectures and all large-scale public events, including sports and cultural events.
Kindergartens may remain open, but there must be screening at the entrance to check for ill children, as well as stepped-up measures for cleaning and disinfection of the premises. At the discretion of parents, children may be kept out of kindergarten until March 11.
Regional health inspectorates are charged with informing the regional governors, mayors of municipalities and medical establishments in the respective administrative area about anti-epidemic measures.
On the morning of March 5, General Ventsislav Mutafchiyski, head of the national crisis staff against new coronavirus, confirmed that there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Bulgaria. However, hospital wards across the country were filling up because of a major increase in cases of Type B influenza, he said.