A decision to ease restrictions introduced to curb the coronavirus pandemic is not yet within reach, with the possible exception of the ban on visits to elderly care homes, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Wednesday.
Orbán on Tuesday met leaders of the Scientific Health Council, as part of a series of consultations concerning the coronavirus situation.
In a video published on Facebook after the meeting, the prime minister quoted the participants as warning that “we must be careful in view of an increasing number of cases in a third wave of the epidemic and do all we can to ensure that as many doses of vaccines as possible are received and the most people get inoculated”.
The Council also advised against easing restrictions, Orbán said, adding that “the time for that will come once we have a higher number of vaccinated residents”.
Speaking after the second round of consultations with epidemiological experts in a three-day series, Orban noted in a video posted on Facebook that administering China’s Sinopharm vaccine started in Hungary on Wednesday, “an important day … it gives me hope too that leaders of the protection efforts may also have their turn sometime next week.”
“The situation is not easy,” Orbán said. While the amount of vaccines arriving in the country is growing, Hungary is also threatened by a third wave of the pandemic, he said.
“Those two tendencies … work against each other,” he said, citing experts as saying that everyone who can should get the vaccine.
Although lifting the restrictions is not in sight, the government will look into finding humane solutions to the situation in care homes for the elderly, Orbán said. Those facilities have an 80 percent inoculation rate by now, and the residents are suffering gravely from the ban on visitors and outings, he said.