Hungary has avoided an explosion of novel coronavirus infections thanks in large part to the effective and timely response measures put in place, the chief medical officer said on Saturday.
Hungary’s preventive measures against the virus have proven effective even in international comparison, Cecília Müller told an online news conference after a meeting of the operative board coordinating the response to the epidemic.
She added, at the same time, that the country was “on the brink of mass infections”.
Müller noted that the first two confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country were registered a month ago today with two Iranian university students testing positive for the virus.
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Hungary has so far reported 678 confirmed cases, she said. There were six new deaths over the past 24 hours, all of them patients suffering from chronic diseases. Five of them were around the age of 80 and one was 54, Müller added.
Regarding new response measures, she said social institutions such as nursing homes have been placed on full lockdown.
The chief medical officer asked the public to continue to comply with the curfew restrictions in spite of the arrival of warmer weather.
In response to a question, Müller said the government office has ordered an investigation into the case of a nursing home where five people were confirmed to be infected with coronavirus. The home’s residents have been quarantined in their rooms and the building has been disinfected. Residents who have displayed symptoms of Covid-19 have been hospitalised and the authorities took 200 samples in an effort to contain the virus in the home, she added.
In response to another question, she said testing capacities will be expanded and new health workers will be trained in order to ensure that the health-care system can cope with mass infections. Müller warned, however, that not all types of coronavirus tests are guaranteed to be reliable.
Tibor Lakatos, head of the emergency centre set up by the board, told the same press conference that seven aircraft were scheduled to deliver protective gear to Hungary on Saturday.
Protective equipment is constantly being unloaded and delivered to storage facilities, Tibor Lakatos told an online press conference after a meeting of the board, adding that an AN-124 military cargo plane would also be arriving from China with additional gear.
The operative board delivered protective equipment to some 50 hospitals and the police force on Friday, Lakatos said, adding that more supplies were on the way.
The authorities have ordered home quarantine in over 12,000 cases so far, he said.
Altogether 224 people have been fined for violating curfew restrictions and 1,849 people have been issued warnings. The authorities have filed misdemeanor charges against 317 people, he said.