Hungary is not yet in a position to start easing lockdown measures imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the prime minister’s chief of staff said on Thursday, adding that continuing vaccinations was the only way of protecting people from the virus.
Citing expert projections, Gergely Gulyás told a weekly online press briefing that Hungary was nearing the peak of the third wave of the pandemic. Though the daily caseload and death rate is “extremely” high, Hungary’s health-care system has sufficient capacity to treat patients, he added.
Gulyás emphasised the importance of observing restrictions and reducing person-to-person contact with a view to containing the spread of the virus.
“If we are fast enough with inoculations and have a large number of people registered for getting a jab, we can avoid a fourth wave,” he said.
Gulyás added that Hungary could be “weeks, or just days out” from easing restrictions.
Gulyás said the government wanted to reopen the country gradually, and would tie the specific stages of reopening to the degree of inoculation. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Friday will consult with the operative body responsible for handling the epidemic and announce plans and measures for the upcoming period in his regular Kossuth Radio interview later that morning, Gulyás said.
During reopening, the government will consider the results of its recent National Consultation survey, Gulyás said. The survey will conclude on Friday, with the results announced over the weekend, he added.
On the topic of vaccination certificates, Gulyás said 1,440,000 certificates had already been manufactured and 1,260,000 mailed to those already vaccinated.
Hungary’s population is expected to be fully inoculated against the coronavirus by May or June this year.
All vaccines delivered to Hungary are being used within a week, unless they have to be set aside to be used as second jabs, he said.
Buying vaccines from Eastern countries became necessary because “Brussels has messed up” procurement, he said.
A little more than half of the vaccines used in Hungary will come from the East, he added.
Regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was suspended in several countries due to reports of dangerous side effects, Gulyás said that “despite the uncertainties, the vaccine seems to provide protection and does not cause complications”.
Saddens me pain and suffering of so many of us being experienced, financial stress, quality of life, the future uncertainty, separation from loved ones but Government appear to be making the correct humanitarian decision, not to reopen the country.
Vaccinations must continue to be increased and our Government confident they will do all and more in there power to make this happen.
Regrettable, don’t think we will see much reopening of the country till after Easter.
Hope that Iam wrong but just my gut feeling.
We fight on support each other and the Government do our bit and Hope for the best, and we will prevail in the end.
The people are ready, give us shots. The goverment is busy with orgies in Brussels, burning books, building shopping malls and football stadiums.