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Debrecen, Hungary. Photo: MTI

The question of whether further restrictions should be introduced is constantly under review, the chief medical officer told an online news briefing on Thursday.

Cecília Müller said the effectiveness of measures enacted Nov. 11 would be visible in two weeks’ time.

She said that according to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) study, if 95 percent of people wore a face mask, “it’s highly likely there’d be no need for further action”.

She said

a new government programme to test people working in social, health, education and training institutions was a logistical challenge but the system was up to the task.

Regarding seasonal flu, Müller said that in week 46, 9,700 people consulted their doctor with flu-like symptoms, but no flu virus has been found in samples tested in laboratories.

Regular testing of essential workers to start on Friday

Hungary is set to begin testing certain essential workers for coronavirus on a regular basis from Friday, Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office has said, adding that the staff of social care homes will be the first to be tested.

The government last week decided that health-care workers, teachers and staff members of social institutions will be tested on a regular basis, determined by the operative board responsible for handling the epidemic, Gulyás told a regular press briefing on Thursday.

Testing will be voluntary, he added, emphasising that no one would be obliged to take the test.

Testing is scheduled to get under way in schools, kindergartens, creches and health-care institutions next Monday, Gulyás said.

The government offices will be instrumental in organising the testing of 191,000 people in 15,000 venues, with the testing teams always including a medical student, Gulyás said.

Regarding the coronavirus vaccine, Gulyás said Hungary has contracted altogether 12 million doses, costing 36 billion forints (EUR 99.6m), from three manufacturers.

Fully 3,270,000 doses are contracted from British AstraZeneca, 4,360,000 doses from US company Janssen and 4,439,000 doses from Pfizer in addition to potential Chinese and Russian vaccine purchases now under negotiation, he said.

The government has a duty to procure any vaccine that has been duly tested and proven to be effective as quickly as possible, and so it is in talks with “every entity” potentially able to provide it, including the EU, Israel, the US, China and Russia, he said.

Gulyás thanked health-care staff for their efforts, noting that the death-to-infection ratio has declined since the spring. The health-care system is ready to handle growing case numbers, he said.

Gulyás said the number of new infections was increasing along the Austrian border, and he asked commuters to exercise extreme caution.

The government will assess the effects of the latest restrictions on Wednesday, and decide whether new measures or a prolongation of the recent ones are necessary, he said.

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Source: MTI

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