The conservative opposition Jobbik on Tuesday called for an end to what deputy leader László György Lukács called “emptying” hospitals of patients, following a government decree ordering hospitals to free 60 percent of beds for potential patients infected by the novel coronavirus.
Lukács insisted that patients were often discharged without a home to return to or put into the care of family members “basically without further treatment”. The measure harms thousands of elderly, chronically ill people whose care could only be ensured within a hospital, he said.
Lukács also rejected the decision to call doctors above 65 years of age back to work, saying they were in the demographic group most endangered by Covid-19.
He called on Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to sack Human Resources Minister Miklós Kásler, saying that the minister’s “bad decisions should have cost him his position long ago”. He insisted that the special powers granted to the government for the duration of the state of emergency mean that Orban was “directly responsible” for those decisions.
The leftist opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) has called on the government to immediately begin mass testing for the novel coronavirus across the country.
Whereas other countries in the region have managed to keep the fatality rate among Covid-19 patients below 5.5 percent, in Hungary, more than 10 percent of patients have died, DK’s Zoltán Komáromi told an online press conference on Tuesday.
But despite calls from opposition parties and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for Hungary to ramp up testing of suspected coronavirus cases, this has yet to happen, Komáromi said. The authorities have so far carried out just over 50,000 tests, he said.
Hungary’s neighbouring countries are conducting 10,000-15,000 tests a day, while the number of tests done in a day in Hungary has only once exceeded 3,000, Komaromi added.
The clusters identified in the world so far have clearly demonstrated the consequences of a lack of testing, he said.