A fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus first identified in the United Kingdom is now in the phase of spreading in the community in Hungary, the chief medical officer said on Wednesday.
So far, the “British variant” has been isolated in 400 patients, most of whom have not travelled recently, showing that the variant is spreading within the country, Cecília Müller told a press conference of the operative body responsible for handling the epidemic.
A Hungarian-developed method enables public health experts to test sewage specifically for the “British variant”, Müller said.
Traces of the virus were found in the waste water of large cities, including Budapest, Debrecen, Tatabánya, Szekesfehérvár and Győr, she said.
Meanwhile, 9 patients were diagnosed with the Czech variant of the virus, and another 34 with another variant that is “insignificant from an epidemiological point of view,” Muller said. The Brazilian and South African variants continue to avoid Hungary, she added.
Meanwhile, the third wave of the epidemic is gathering momentum in Hungary, Müller said.
She cited data on the government’s koronavirus.gov.hu website as saying that 102 people died and 2,855 have contracted the coronavirus in the past 24 hours. While the victims are mostly elderly and suffering from underlying conditions, there are “almost every day young people among the fatalities who could have been saved by the vaccine,” she said.
Noting that the Chinese and Russian vaccines have been administered to over 30 million people worldwide, Müller asked the public to “put aside fears” and take the vaccine they are offered. All five vaccines approved in Hungary protect against an illness with serious and possibly life-threatening complications, although “there is no 100 percent protection,” she said.
she hoped some 368 thousand shots could be administered next week, most Sinopharm jabs, which have already been distributed to GP offices nationwide.
GPs will give out 50-55 jabs on average of the Chinese vaccine, she added.