Four policemen injured as anti-vax protesters descend on Bulgaria's Parliament

by IANS |

Sofia, Jan 13 (IANS) Clashes between Bulgarian police and Covid-19 Green Pass opponents near the National Assembly building left at least four policemen injured.

The incident took place on Wednesday. The protest was organised by the ultra-nationalist Revival party, the smallest party in Parliament with 13 deputies. It is not part of the recently formed ruling coalition.

The injured police officials were taken to hospital for treatment, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

A man carrying a weapon was detained before the protest began, it also added.

"The police call on the protesters to express their opinion peacefully and without disturbing public order," the statement said.

In an interview with Bulgarian National Television, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said his country was on the eve of another huge Covid-19 wave, Xinhua news agency reported.

He added that he understood that people were frustrated, but reiterated that the authorities worked round the clock to manage this next wave.

Petkov said he wanted to meet the protesters in person but could not because he was quarantined. However, once his isolation is over, he added that he was ready to meet with the expert representatives of the protesters.

On Wednesday, Bulgaria reported a record 7,062 new daily Covid-19 cases. The first case of the Omicron variant of coronavirus was detected 10 days ago in the country.

Since Tuesday, Parliament Speaker Nikola Minchev has been in self-isolation after he tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday. On Monday, he attended a meeting of the Consultative Council on National Security together with President Rumen Radev, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and other ranking state officials.

Bulgaria made the Covid-19 Green Pass mandatory for all adults in October 2021. The pass is required to access a range of services, places and activities.

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