SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and three ministers from his government will have to stay in isolation after a deputy minister who they had been in contact with tested positive for coronavirus, health authorities said late on Friday.
Earlier on Friday Borissov said he was self-isolating after he was informed that Deputy Construction Minister Nikolay Nankov had tested positive.
Borissov, as well as Finance Minister Kiril Ananiev, Construction Minister Petya Avramova and Agriculture Minister Dessislava Taneva should all stay in isolation due to being in contact with Nankov, according to the Sofia Health Inspectorate.
Borissov said he had a negative result from a coronavirus test he took earlier on Friday before his meeting in Sofia with Keith Krach, U.S. under secretary of state for economic growth, energy, and the environment.
“I am waiting for the orders of the health authorities and until then I will be in self-isolation. I was last in contact with him five days ago,” Borissov wrote in a post on his Facebook account.
Bulgaria’s coronavirus cases have spiked since the start of October. On Friday, the Balkan country reported a new daily record of 1,595 new infections, bringing the total number to 34,930, including 1,064 deaths.
The surge has strained Bulgarian hospitals and health authorities banned planned operations in regions where infections exceed 120 per 100,000 people and asked hospitals to ensure 10% of their bed capacity be freed for COVID-19 patients.
(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Jon Boyle and Daniel Wallis)