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May 04, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

Operational Group: We have entered a new phase in the defense against the coronavirus

Beginning today, movement restrictions are partially lifted in rural Hungary, while Budapest and the surrounding Pest County remain under lockdown.

Speaking at today’s Coronavirus Operational Group press conference, Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller said that starting today, Hungary has entered a new phase in its defense against the coronavirus. For this reason, Müller added, the presentation of data on the official government information page koronavirus.gov.hu will take a different format, separating data for Budapest and Pest County from the rest of the country.

The chief medical officer said that there are currently 2,055 active coronavirus cases (total confirmed cases minus the number of recovered and deceased) in Hungary, out of which 1,290, nearly 63 percent, are in Budapest and Pest County. She reminded people that while some movement restrictions have been lifted in rural Hungary, Budapest and its surrounding area will remain under lockdown.

“The number of confirmed cases and the number of deceased have not increased significantly for a week now,” Müller said, adding that the situation seems to be approaching an equilibrium. Although this equilibrium lets the government reopen certain healthcare services, which previously had to be suspended, the CMO reminded us that we are far from returning to “business as usual.”

“Over the long weekend, our police officers had to take action in more than 4,000 cases due to movement restriction violations,” Lieutenant Colonel of Police Róbert Kiss reported, adding that they additionally had to order 559 compulsory home quarantines in the previous 24 hours. Meanwhile, police launched legal proceedings in 83 cases for scaremongering.

Kiss stressed that movement restrictions remain in force in Budapest and Pest County and that the lifting of these regulations apply only to rural Hungary.