Ever since the Communist era in Hungary, many know that what the government does or says might not always be true. It has been reported by many news portals that almost the entire world envies the measurements and restrictions Hungary introduced when the coronavirus epidemic broke out. The Hungarian government keeps emphasising that all of them are writing about an effective, protective, and unique system which helped the country to slow down the virus. But is it true or is it just governmental propaganda?
444 reported that massive infections did not happen in the country as restrictions worked well and PM Orbán leads the country with a clear and calm head. However, some say that Hungary did not do anything extraordinary or different compared to other countries: the government closed the borders, shops, cafés, and ordered curfew restrictions just like many other countries on the continent. On the other hand, there has been a problem with the lack of coronavirus tests and the fact that every time PM Orbán visited a hospital, he somehow wore the newest and most effective protection gear while healthcare workers did not because they did not receive any.
For this reason, hospitals and retirement homes became the centres of the coronavirus, and 14% of all Hungarian healthcare workers were tested positive. Doctors above 65 years old were sent home from healthcare institutions, but they did not get a chance to work from their homes.
The action of making as many hospital beds free as possible generated controversy in the country. Estimations reported that between March and April, the number of patients treated at hospitals was 16-24 thousand less than before the epidemic, and some people needed hospital treatments but were not infected by the virus. It is hard to estimate the exact number of fatal incidents this measurement caused, but it certainly played a part in the increase of Hungary’s mortality rate, while deaths caused by the coronavirus increased slowly.
Currently, scientists do not know why the coronavirus did not infect children or the reason why the Central European region was safe from a massive and destructive wave. In Poland, out of 100,000 citizens, 55 were positive on average, in the Czech Republic, it was 84, in Croatia 56, in Slovenia 72, in Serbia 160, in Austria 187(!), while in Hungary 38.
If we consider these numbers, it is clear that somehow Hungary did become the country with the most effective restrictions and measurements to stop the epidemic.
On the other hand, the country is among the last ones regarding testing people. This results in the highest mortality rate among European countries. Although the virus seems to have set back these days, many people still doubt the fact that Hungary truly succeeded in winning the first battle against the coronavirus.
Featured image: MTI/Balogh Zoltán