SOFIA, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Bulgarian government on Wednesday approved the extension of the nationwide epidemic emergency until Nov. 30 in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19, the cabinet said in a statement.
The epidemic emergency was initially declared on May 14 with a duration of one month, replacing the state of emergency implemented on March 13. It has already been extended several times, with the last extension to the end of September.
The prolongation of the emergency epidemic situation and the implementation of anti-epidemic measures in the country aimed to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the public health and the healthcare system, the statement said.
"This is especially important for the protection of the health and life of persons at increased risk of severe course of an infectious disease -- elderly people, people with chronic and oncological diseases and immunocompromised conditions, during simultaneous spread of seasonal influenza and COVID-19," it said.
A total of 19,123 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Bulgaria so far with 767 deaths.