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Mar 22, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

Operational Group: ‘Curfew not necessary at this time’

At today’s press conference of the Coronavirus Operational Group, Colonel Tibor Lakatos, head of the Operational Group, stressed that "it is not necessary to introduce a curfew at this time." Infectious disease specialist Dr. János Szlávik also reported cases of older patients recovering from the virus.

At the daily press conference of the Operational Group, infectious disease specialist Dr. János Szlávik reported that the number of confirmed cases of patients infected with coronavirus had increased to 131. So far, six coronavirus patients have died, all of whom were elderly. Szlavik emphasized that older people are much more at risk of contracting the virus and that they suffer from more serious complications as well.

Young people, on the other hand, might only have mild symptoms, Szlavik explained, and young children are almost asymptomatic. It is primarily the elderly who need to stay at home and avoid contact with others, the doctor said.

Szlavik also stressed that the virus is milder in healthy people with no underlying conditions, and that some 20 percent of patients experience more severe symptoms after contracting the virus. Therefore, a majority of those infected with coronavirus are able to recover at home. Only those patients experiencing more severe symptoms require hospitalization.

Touching on some good news, Szlávik said that the number of people who have so far recovered from coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 16. Furthermore, the patients who have recovered range in age from 40 to 60 years old, providing encouraging proof that older patients also recover from the illness.

Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller pointed out that we are now moving towards a large-scale spread of the disease. The government will thus continue to emphasize raising awareness about the importance of taking care of loved ones via a targeted campaign.

Müller also emphasized that home quarantine means that you do not go anywhere. Furthermore, anyone who is under home quarantine and is not alone must isolate themselves as much as possible. She pointed out that the virus dies at 50-60 degrees Celsius and is very sensitive to chlorine-based disinfectants. It is recommended to keep your home clean and use double-walled bags for trash so that the virus loses its infectivity. Müller also again called attention to the importance of washing your hands frequently after handling trash bins and cleaning.

Colonel Tibor Lakatos, Head of the Operational Group, said that they are constantly working on speeding up the passage of freight traffic to ensure the availability of goods. There are no long queues at the border, he said, but there may still be congestion at some border crossings. He also noted that expired travel certificates would remain valid

On the subject of a curfew, the territorial distribution of infected people is what counts when introducing a curfew, said Lakatos, and presently, there is no justification for its introduction. "It is not necessary to introduce a curfew at this time," the colonel stated. 

Chief Medical Officer Müller pointed out that, contrary to some erroneous reports, there is no cluster infection in Mohács. The number of coronavirus patients is evenly distributed throughout the country. 

Patients diagnosed with pneumonia are being monitored closely, and samples are taken if they report any symptoms related to coronavirus. However, the number of patients with pneumonia has not increased.

At present, the government is not planning any further measures and hopes that the elderly will follow current recommendations and stay at home.