Two virologists shared their predictions and how to mitigate the risks.
Hungary is currently a Covid limitation-free country with no restrictions in bars or restaurants, no obligation to wearing a mask, and no prohibition for tourists to travel to the country.
However, with the start of September, and more precisely, with the beginning of the school year, it would be advisable to get ready for a possible third wave of the pandemic. According to virologists from Szeged,
the start of the school term, together with the appearance of the delta variant of the virus, is expected to cause problems.
They both talked to Pénzcentrum, sharing their views and solutions.
Although the delta variant does not manifest with serious symptoms in kids, it does spread two or even three times faster than other versions. These mild symptoms can be similar to those of a simple cold with diarrhoea, occasionally complemented with nausea and fever. Since the elderly usually meet the same amount of people during a year as a schoolkid would on the course of a week, unvaccinated children under the age of twelve will act as transmitters. The virus will not particularly spread during classes when kids are seated and rarely talk, but in the classrooms, restrooms, and corridors where they have to speak loudly or even shout. Since the infection is transmitted through droplets, the virus will spread faster in schools.
In order to mitigate the risks,
Sándor Tóth suggests reintroducing masks, without which “there will be big problems when schools start.”
On the other hand, Ernő Duda believes that they are not particularly necessary in class but during the breaks and after school. That is, however, very tricky to do with this age group.
As mentioned before, talking loudly and shouting increases the risk of droplet infection. Thus,
any workplace with constant noise where people are forced to communicate by raising their voices has a higher chance for Covid to spread.
Fortunately, more and more younger children are receiving their doses before school starts. A government announcement said that around 200 thousand kids between the ages of 12 and 17 registered, 81% of whom are already vaccinated. Ernő Duda agrees with the plan to start inoculating kids in September at schools. However, he thinks it would be more advisable to start doing it during summer camps.
He feels that a fourth wave is inevitable, partly because of the speed at which the delta variant spreads and because the third of the population still has not been vaccinated.
He thinks that a catastrophic situation can form in under just one or two weeks. When the number of infection cases starts growing, it would be crucial for the authorities to investigate and test the contact persons. By doing so, we could avoid a new wave of the virus.
The two virologists also mentioned that, although the delta variant breaks through the shield formed by the vaccines of Pfizer and AstraZeneca, they still very much protect against severe symptoms, and more importantly, against hospital care in the intensive care unit.
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Source: telex.hu, penzcentrum.hu
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