The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Bulgaria has reached 894, counting active cases, those who have died and those who have recovered, according to a 5pm update by the national operational headquarters on April 19.
Sixteen new cases have been confirmed since the 5pm update on April 18. Further test results are pending.
The death toll is 42. There are 259 patients in hospital, 36 of them in intensive care.
At the morning briefing on Sunday, Chief State Health Inspector Associate Professor Angel Kunchev said that after the Orthodox Easter holidays, routine consultations for women and children, as well as immunisations, would be resumed.
These will take place on specific days to avoid confusion among patient flows. At this stage, visits to hospital will continue to be banned.
Operational HQ chief Major-General Ventsislav Mutafchiyski told the morning briefing that it was good news that people had heeded calls not go to church at Easter.
Public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television said that most Bulgarians had heeded the calls from the government not to attend Bulgarian Orthodox Church Easter services.
In Sofia, the largest gathering was outside Alexander Nevsky cathedral. People attending wore protective masks, the report said.
In Plovdiv, Bulgarian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Nikolai congratulated the Bulgarian government for not closing the churches, as other Orthodox Christian countries had done.
He praised Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and the government for not responding to pressure to close the churches by “displaying courage”.
Nikolai said that “this time the devil had outdone himself” by trying to force the Bulgarian Orthodox Church to renounce the sacraments.
Bulgarian National Radio reported on April 19 that dozens of people gathered in various parts of Sofia in a protest organised online against the measures imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The organisers of the “flashmob” said that they had no political party affiliation, BNR said.
Interior Minister Mladen Marinov said in an April 19 television interview that there would be discussions on Sunday involving Prime Minister Borissov and the operational HQ about measures to deal with the “wise guys” who had left Sofia in spite of the ban on travel in private cars, imposed the night before the Orthodox Easter long weekend began.
The Interior Ministry has promised intensive checks of those seeking to enter Sofia at the close of the long weekend.