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Nov 03, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

PM Orbán on new measures to fight pandemic: ‘We need quick action to make decisions in time’

Today, the government reviewed the epidemic situation in both Hungary and other European countries and decided further restrictions are now necessary.

“The spread of the pandemic has accelerated,” PM Viktor Orbán began his announcement in a video on his Facebook page. He pointed out that in Austria, the number of infected people per million is one and a half times higher than in Hungary, which is important since according to observations, trends in Hungary follow trends in Austria with a delay of 5-7 days.

“This means that Hungarian hospitals would reach their limit by mid-December,” the prime minister continued, adding that “it is time to take action once again to protect the ability of hospitals to function and to protect the lives of the elderly.”

“This time, there is no room for political debates; we need quick action and to make decisions in time,” PM Orbán emphasized, stressing that “if the spread of the virus is fast, then we need to take action fast, too.”

“Based on this, the government decided to introduce a special legal order again starting at midnight tonight and to ask the Parliament for a 90-day extension,” Viktor Orbán announced.

Besides the special legal order, the government also decided on other restrictions. In theaters, cinemas, and other cultural and sports venues, only every third seat can be occupied and mask-wearing is obligatory. “Authorities will check all events and, if necessary, impose fines; venues that do not follow the rules could be closed immediately,” the prime minister said. He added that “those who do not follow the rules, who do not wear a mask or do not maintain social distancing, endanger not only their lives, but the lives of others, too.”

According to the Operational Group’s report, it would be impossible to enforce compliance with the rules at nightclubs. “That is why, based on the recommendation of the Operational Group, the government has decided to close these places and introduce a curfew between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m.,” PM Orbán said.

In order to avoid crowds on public transportation during the morning and afternoon rush hour, the government has ordered trams, buses, etc. to run more frequently at these times and has also made parking free again.

The prime minister also emphasized that the government has made available all the equipment needed for the fight against the pandemic. “In terms of the number of hospital beds, Hungary is third in Europe, and it is first worldwide in terms of the number of ventilators,” Viktor Orbán said, adding that “our doctors and nurses are doing a world-class job; they are doing their utmost to heal patients.”

Finishing his announcement, PM Orbán said that the final solution is a vaccine, and this solution is within sight. “We need to hang on until the vaccine arrives. We are negotiating with the European Union, as well as with China, Russia and Israel.”

“The situation is serious, but we have already once succeeded in the spring. If we come together and follow the rules, together we can succeed again,” Prime minister Viktor Orbán concluded.