Bulgaria PM tests positive for coronavirus

SOFIA (AFP) – Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov yesterday became the latest political figure to test positive for the new coronavirus.

“After two PCR tests from today I am positive for Covid-19,” he said on his Facebook page, adding that he had mild symptoms and would quarantine at home.

Borisov, 61, self-isolated on Friday evening when a deputy minister of regional development he had been in contact with five days before tested positive for the virus.

The Sofia regional health inspectorate lifted the premier’s quarantine on Saturday after two negative PCR tests – one on Friday morning before Borisov met with the United States’ (US) undersecretary Keith Krach and a second one on Saturday.

But Borisov said that he had remained in self-isolation, postponing all his meetings and public appearances since Friday.

Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev had to cut short a visit to Estonia earlier this week after being in contact with an air forces major-general, who tested positive. He has resumed his duties after two negative PCR tests.

Bulgaria, a country of under seven million people, weathered the first wave of the coronavirus relatively well, but the number of cases and hospitalisations surged over the past weeks, reaching a total of over 37,500 cases and 1,084 deaths yesterday.

On Thursday, the government made masks mandatory in crowded outdoor spaces, in addition to all inside public areas and transport in a bid to curb the number of infections that threaten to break the country’s severely understaffed medical system.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov. PHOTO: AP