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May 16, 2020 - Zoltán Kovács

State Secretary: The role of the family has increased

“We can always count on our family members. We want to show that no Hungarian is alone,” Katalin Novák, State Secretary for Family and Youth Affairs, said today.

 

During today’s Operational Group press conference, Katalin Novák, State Secretary for Family and Youth Affairs, highlighted the importance of a family-friendly mindset and family-friendly politics. “The role of the family has increased,” she said. “Above all, we can always count on our family members. We want to show that no Hungarian is alone.”

The state secretary said the government has decided to bring back its 13th month pension, adding that the number of beneficiaries will be expanded. “About 150,000 more people will receive a 13th month pension than under the previous regulation and there will be no upper ceiling, everyone will receive a full monthly amount,” she said.

Novák added that the deadline for childcare subsidies (Gyes and Gyed) has been extended by the government; and parents whose entitlement would have already expired will be eligible up until the end of the state of emergency. “From June 1, in addition to young people, expectant mothers at home and grandparents staying at home with children can also apply for free highway code and language courses,” she added.

Meanwhile, Kristóf Gál, spokesperson for the Hungarian National Police Headquarters, said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has “consulted with virology experts this morning, is currently consulting with the operative staff and is expected to announce new measures related to Budapest later this afternoon.”

János Szlávik, head of the Infectious Diseases Department at South Pest Central Hospital, said the epidemic curve is currently stable in Hungary. “We hope that the new coronavirus will disappear in the same way as SARS in the Far East or MERS in the Middle East at that time,” he said. “But it could recur from year to year, or the epidemic might stay with us all year round and will appear at different focal points,” he added.

Finally, touching upon possible treatments, Szlávik said a drug developed in Japan is available in Hungary to help mildly affected patients and an American drug is available for use in severe cases. “Immunotherapy is working well, more patients could be saved; and plasma therapy is also promising, there are more patients who can leave soon after recovery thanks to this therapy,” he added.

Szlávik closed his remarks by stating that according to some opinions there may be an effective vaccine ready by the autumn, but no later than the end of spring.