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Mar 19, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

Coronavirus Operational Group: “The goal is to avoid large-scale disease”

“Personal responsibility is crucial for avoiding large-scale disease,” said Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller at today’s press conference of the Coronavirus Operational Group. Colonel Tibor Lakatos, Head of the Operational Group, also emphasized that they have no current plans for a curfew or the closure of cities or neighborhoods.

At the Coronavirus Operational Group’s daily press conference, Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller said that there are now 73 registered infections in Hungary. The condition of the patients vary, but, unfortunately, six of them are in serious condition and are being treated in intensive care units.

She noted that with the rise in the number of cases, the number of lab tests being conducted is also increasing. Müller added that “contact research also continues” and emphasized that per the recommendation of the World Health Organization, they are testing all suspicious cases as well as any people who have been in any contact with those suspected of having the disease.

The chief medical officer reiterated that the coronavirus has entered the second phase of cluster infections, in which case “we can’t predict anything anymore. We have only models [on the further possible course of the epidemic]. She added that “there are cases everywhere in the country, and the main goal remains to avoid mass disease.”

Müller further stated that the number of healthcare institutions is being expanded to care for an increase in patients, but some infected people will be able to stay in compulsory home quarantine “if their symptoms are mild and they don’t need hospital care.” In these cases, she emphasized that “personal responsibility is crucial, and leaving the compulsory home quarantine is forbidden.”

Colonel Tibor Lakatos, head of the Operational Group, also clearly stated that “a continuous expansion of hospital capacity is underway so that everyone can receive proper care.”

He recalled that restrictions are still in force and that compliance with established rules is being continuously monitored by the police. “However, I would like to call attention to the fact that the government and the Operational Group do not plan on ordering a curfew or the closure of cities or neighborhoods,” he stressed.

Colonel Lakatos ensured everyone again that freight transportation remains continuous and barrier-free, and two more border-crossings had been opened at Rábafüzes and Kópháza.

“An agreement between Hungary and Slovakia was also settled. Under this, citizens of these two countries may enter the other country within a 30-kilometer zone from the border in order to go to their workplace,” Lakatos said, adding that “starting tomorrow, they will also need to present an employer certificate to do this.”