The Disease Control Deployment Unit established by the Government of Hungary on 15 June operates under the supervision of the Operational Group, and is comprised of six closely cooperating organisations. In addition to the Hungarian Defence Forces, representatives of the National Ambulance Service, the police, the fire brigade, the disaster management authority and the National Healthcare Service Centre take part in the operation of the unit.
At a press conference held before the exercise, Police Brigadier General Tibor Lakatos – who is the head of the Duty Centre of the Operational Group – said the duty of the unit is to take targeted and immediate action in the area concerned in the event of a disease control emergency, to coordinate cooperation among the organisations taking part in the containment effort, and to provide support for the authorities with territorial competence.
“During the exercise, members of the unit simulated an incident where infection starts spreading on a tourist bus carrying Hungarian nationals returning from abroad and – after the initial notification of the disease control authorities – patients are received by a local care centre,”
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Enikő Szabó said outlining the details of the exercise. During the simulation of the incident, members of the unit demonstrated the placement of patients based on their condition, and the isolation and warehousing of their luggage. In a designated ward, patients were examined on a preliminary basis, and infected patients requiring disease control isolation were isolated, keeping them separate from asymptomatic contact persons under observation.
During the simulation of the incident, staff members of the Hungarian Defence Forces 93 Petőfi Sándor Chemical Battalion took part in the decontamination of the bus carrying infected patients, and the disinfecting of the patient entrance as well as the ground floor level and lift of the hospital.
Colonel János Miklovich, commander of the unit, stressed that they gathered useful experience as part of the decontamination tasks carried out during the first wave of the epidemic and also since, and relying on this experience, they strive to make the operation of the unit staff even more effective and better-prepared.
As part of the onsite exercise, the Disease Control Deployment Unit demonstrated a course of rapid, successful and effective measures, showcasing the defence capabilities of the cooperating agencies.