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Apr 07, 2020

Coronavirus Update: Gulyás says cooperation is needed to fight the virus

Gergely Gulyás told parliament that the number of infections is growing, but compared with other European countries, Hungary was doing well and protective measures of recent weeks had lived up to expectations.

Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, has said further protective measures may be necessary in the coming months, and called on people and politicians to cooperate fully in fighting the novel coronavirus epidemic.

Gulyás told parliament that the number of infections is growing, but compared with other European countries, Hungary was doing well and protective measures of recent weeks had lived up to expectations. The spread of the epidemic has slowed down and hospitals are not experiencing any capacity deficiencies, he added.

According to MTI, Gulyás noted the government has allocated HUF 378 billion (EUR 1.04bn) for the purpose of covering the cost of protective measures, but this may be increased according to need. He added that half of state funding for political parties will be redirected to this reserve, as will local council transport revenues totalling HUF 34 billion. Banks are also being asked to contribute HUF 55 billion, while a special tax on multinationals will yield another HUF 36 billion forints.

The minister praised the government’s moves to generate most of special financing from the state’s own resources. He said opposition criticism of the government’s measure to divert some local council revenues to the central fund, which amounts to 3-4 percent of their total revenues, reflected their failure to comprehend the seriousness of the situation.

A call center set up for advice on the coronavirus can be reached on +36-80-277-455 and +36-80-277-456 or by email koronavirus@bm.gov.hu