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Apr 19, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

Operational Group: The epidemic’s curve is gradually rising

At today’s Operational Group press conference, Cecília Müller reported that the epidemic’s curve continues on a gradual, upward trend in Hungary, but the recovery rate is better than expected.

During today’s Operational Group press conference, Colonel Tibor Lakatos, head of the Operational Group, announced that currently there is a 30-minute wait at the border crossing for incoming passengers at Hegyeshalom.

A total of 145,797 have entered Hungary, all of whom have been checked. The number of Hungarians returning from abroad is decreasing, and in the last 24 hours, authorities have ordered only 761 official home quarantines. There are currently 11,959 people in official home quarantine, and authorities continue to monitor these people. Lakatos also noted that they carried out 8,932 inspections in one day and found 30 irregularities.

Additionally, the colonel noted that they are monitoring compliance with the established movement restrictions. Just yesterday, authorities issued 1,286 warnings and fined 496 people on the spot; 425 people were reported for violating movement restrictions.

Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller announced that the confirmed number of patients diagnosed with coronavirus has increased to 1,916, while 250 have recovered from the virus. She confirmed that 80 percent of those infected survive the infection with mild symptoms. Among the 250 people who fully recovered, some had been in critical condition, but Hungarian healthcare workers managed to cure them. She noted that they have used ventilators to cure patients as well. The recovery rate is better than expected, Müller noted. She thanked all healthcare workers and emphasized again that the elderly still have the highest risk of contracting the disease.

As of today, 46,353 laboratory tests have been performed, and 784 people are currently being treated in a hospital. “There are currently 61 people on a ventilator,” said Müller.

The national chief medical officer said they are paying close attention to nursing homes, where there is the greatest danger of infection. The examination of nursing homes is ongoing, and currently 18 of Hungary’s 1,035 nursing homes have reported coronavirus cases. Some residents are being treated at their nursing home, while others have been hospitalized. The number of nursing homes affected by the virus has not increased, she noted, but the number of infected people in nursing homes has increased.

Müller stressed that it is important that caregivers wear protective equipment in all institutions where there are coronavirus patients, adding that equipment is available. The chief medical officer drew attention to the fact that the elderly should leave their homes only when necessary. If they need some fresh air and do not have a balcony, it is recommended that they open a window, not venture outdoors. She also asked young people to not neglect their exercise but to do it in a place where there aren’t many people. 

“The risk factor of outdoor sports is low if we do it alone or with friends while keeping a distance of one and a half meters. Once we return home, a change of clothes is recommended, and sportswear should be washed.” she pointed out.