The expected peak of the coronavirus epidemic in Hungary in early May may be prolonged, with “very many patients” next month, János Szlávik, chief infectologist of Budapest’s St. László Hospital, told public television late on Monday.
He added, however, that
he hoped the epidemic will “run down” in June.
Currently, the number of cases is still on the increase, but Hungary has sufficient ventilator capacity “for the time being”, he said, adding that the death rate was not increasing.
Szlávik said that while in March coronavirus patients had only been treated in St. László’s, now many hospitals across the country have people with Covid-19, and several epidemiology centres were prepared to provide intensive care to such patients.
Szlávik could not guess the intensity of a second wave of the epidemic expected for the autumn, but said he hoped a vaccine would be available “by the autumn, winter, or next spring at the latest”.
Isolating the elderly from younger people is crucial for prevention, Szlávik said. He called for concentrated efforts and continuous screening in seniors’ homes and said that prevention in those homes is key in avoiding a “huge, apocalyptic pandemic” such as the ones seen in some Western European countries.
UN chief wants COVID-19 vaccine available to all
According to Xinhua, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wants a vaccine for COVID-19 to be available to all people around the world, said his spokesman on Monday.
“It needs to be available for all — for moral reasons but also that none of us will be safe until all of us are safe,” said Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman.
There is competition among different developers, which is good. There is cooperation, which is even better, he told a virtual press briefing. “I think the critical part is when we do have a vaccine that works, that the vaccine is available to all, that the vaccine itself doesn’t make the gap between the haves and the have-nots even greater.”
The UN secretary-general has been in touch with the World Health Organization, which is in the lead on this issue, said the spokesman.
“We want to make sure that the vaccine does not exacerbate the issues of inequality when it actually arrives and that it is shared for the benefit of all,” he said.
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