UPDATED: Bulgaria says top official who attended EU summit tested positive for COVID-19

Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borissov arrives for the second day of the European Council in Brussels, Belgium, 18 July 2020. . EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

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The head of the political office of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Denitsa Zheleva, who had tested positive for coronavirus late on Thursday, was on the Balkan country’s team at the EU summit earlier this week, a government spokeswoman said on Friday.

The delegation returned to Bulgaria on Tuesday afternoon.

Second coronavirus tests of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and his political team who attended an EU summit this week came out negative, the government said on Friday, after earlier tests showed positive for one member of the delegation.

Borissov went into quarantine after  Zheleva, tested positive for coronavirus late on Thursday, the government press office said in an earlier statement.

The first test for Borissov, 61, came out negative and he planned to stay in self-isolation until the results of a second test emerged, a government spokeswoman said.

Shortly afterward, the government press office announced that second coronavirus tests for Borissov and Zheleva were negative, as were second tests for other members of the delegation to the Brussels summit.

Zheleva was on the team that attended the gathering, which ended in the early hours on Tuesday and was the group’s first face-to-face meeting between all leaders of the 27 states since the coronavirus pandemic swept Europe.

The leaders and delegates largely wore face masks and observed social distancing during the meeting, which thrashed out a recovery fund to help Europe’s battered economies emerge from COVID-19 crisis.

But an infection in one delegation would nonetheless raise worries about contagion among the other attendees.

The Bulgarian delegation returned home on Tuesday afternoon.

Bulgaria has registered a spike in coronavirus infections in the past month. On Friday, the Balkan country had 268 new cases, bringing the total to 9,853 including 329 deaths.

s2.reutersmedia.net

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