Bulgaria posts new record of 12,399 daily COVID infections

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SOFIA, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Bulgaria reported a record 12,399 coronavirus infections in a single day on Wednesday, official data showed, with most of the cases caused by the more contagious Omicron variant.

The European Union country, where less than 30% of the population of 7 million has been vaccinated, also recorded another 73 deaths.

Bulgaria’s tally of infections exceeds 903,000, with 32,869 deaths since the pandemic began.

The new centrist government has repeatedly appealed to vaccine-sceptical Bulgarians to get inoculated to avoid pressure on hospitals that could force tougher curbs.

About 5,300 people were admitted to hospital on Wednesday, with 692 of them in intensive care.

A recent jump in the number of children who tested positive for coronavirus has prompted authorities to consider extending a one-day term break to nine, starting from Jan. 29, the education minister has said.

More than 38% of the students have switched to online classes, while restaurants, cafes and bars in the capital, Sofia, will have to operate at 50% of their capacity and close by 10 p.m. from Thursday.

Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

Photo – A man wearing a protective face mask prays at the Sveta Nedely Cathedral in Sofia, Bulgaria. EPA-EFE/VASSIL DONEV

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