The Parliament adopted changes to the mandatory isolation and quarantine for contagious diseases, including COVID-19.
The Parliament adopted at second reading amendments to the Health Act proposed by Daniela Daritkova. Their aim is to refine provisions regarding the compulsory isolation and quarantine, as well as the compulsory hospital treatment of persons suffering from or carrying a contagious disease.
The act states that persons suffering from and carriers of anthrax, brucellosis, smallpox, viral haemorrhagic fever, diphtheria, Ebola, yellow fever, typhoid fever, malaria, poliomyelitis, severe acute respiratory syndrome, tuberculosis with bacilli excretion, cholera, plague and COVID-19 are subject to compulsory isolation. So far, these patients were subject to hospital treatment in addition to the mandatory isolation.
The Minister of Health, on a proposal from the Chief State Health Inspector, may give the order for the compulsory isolation of persons suffering from and carrying contagious diseases other than the abovementioned ones, as well as the compulsory quarantine of their contact persons, on the basis of an assessment of the existing epidemic risk of the spread of the contagious disease concerned.
The citizens will be notified of the issued isolation or quarantine prescription orally with a call on a mobile or fixed telephone number indicated by the person, which shall be certified in writing with the signature of the official who carried it out, and the written certification being attached to the file. The notification may also be carried out by sending an electronic or a short text message to an e-mail address or a mobile phone number specified by the person.
A person suffering from or carrying a contagious disease who refuses or interrupts the implementation of the compulsory isolation will be penalized with a fine of BGN 5,000.
Amendments were also made to the Medicinal Products in Human Medicine Act which created a legal opportunity in the event of a declared state of emergency or an epidemic situation by an order of the Minister of Health to ban for a certain period of time the export of medicinal products from the territory of the country. The aim is to ensure sufficient quantities of medicinal products in order to meet the health needs of the population of Bulgaria.