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Bulgarian capital Sofia sealed off as number of confirmed coronavirus cases jumps

Bulgarian capital Sofia sealed off as number of confirmed coronavirus cases jumps

Bulgaria has imposed a ban on all travel to and from its capital Sofia, after a spike in coronavirus infections and amid concerns over the risk of further spread during the Orthodox Easter.

At a midnight briefing, Health Minister Kiril Ananiev said travel to and from Sofia, home to some two million people, will be banned until further notice, except for cargo transport and people who have to travel to go to work, or for hospital treatment. Bulgarians have been practicing social distancing and wearing protective masks.

Bulgaria registered over 40 new cases on both Wednesday and Thursday, bringing the total number to 800, including 38 deaths, Reuters said. More than half of the confirmed infections are in Sofia.

The Balkan country had already restricted non-essential inter-city travel in March, but measures were tightened after over 5,000 cars tried to leave Sofia on Thursday ahead of the Easter holidays.

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