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Mar 30, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

Operational Group: Restrictions on movement proving effective

“We are still in the state of cluster infections,” Cecília Müller, Hungary’s Chief Medical Officer, said at today’s Operational Group press conference, adding that the current restrictions on movement have been effective. Members of the Operational Group also discussed the role of “hospital commanders,” enforcement of the movement restrictions, best practices to avoid infection and more.

Speaking at the Coronavirus Operational Group’s press conference earlier today, Major General Zsolt Halmosi, the leader of Hungary’s 108 hospital commanders, said that the role of these commanders is not to have a say in medical matters, but to ensure the continuous supply of medical equipment. “Hospital commanders must cooperate with the institution’s leadership,” Halmosi added.

Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller said that due to the fact that coronavirus patients are evenly spread out around the country, we can safely state that “the restrictions on movement are effective.” However, since last Saturday, when the restrictions first went into effect, police officers have launched proceedings in 739 cases involving violations of the new regulations and have fined 15 individuals so far.

Addressing best practices to avoid infection, Müller reminded those present that people should keep a distance of one and a half meters from each other to be safe and avoid social interactions. “We should not touch everything in stores; it is a bad habit regardless of the epidemic. Only take those items from the shelves that appear to be clean,” the chief medical officer said, adding that in order to protect the health of those working in shops, people should opt for cashless payment as well.

Lieutenant Colonel Róbert Kiss said that based on the Operational Group’s decision, Hungary will join the European Commission’s civil protection program. This way, he added, Hungary can claim its share from the common pool of equipment.

The Operational Group revealed that currently there are 15 patients in intensive care, while the number of active coronavirus carriers stands at 398. Both elderly Hungarian men who passed away yesterday were over 90 years old and already chronically ill.