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Mar 19, 2020

Coronavirus Update: Operational Group says goal now is to avoid mass disease

“Personal responsibility is crucial for avoiding mass disease,” said Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller at today’s press conference.

At this afternoon’s Operational Group press conference, Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller confirmed that there are now 73 registered cases of coronavirus in Hungary. 

Müller added that the patient's conditions vary, but unfortunately six of them are being treated in intensive care and are in a serious condition.

The Chief Medical Officer said the coronavirus has now entered the second phase, the cluster infections stage. “In the case of group disease, we can’t predict anything anymore, we have only models [about the further course of the epidemic],” Müller said. “There are cases everywhere in the country; and the main goal now remains to avoid mass disease," she added.

Müller also revealed that the number of lab tests is increasing and “contact searches are ongoing."

She said that according to the recommendation of the World Health Organization, all suspicious cases are being tested and people who have been in contact with those already sick are also being screened.

Müller said that the number of healthcare institutions is being expanded, however, “there will be some infected people who will stay in compulsory home quarantine, if their symptoms are mild and they don’t need hospital care."

“Because of this, personal responsibility is crucial and leaving compulsory home quarantine is forbidden,” Müller concluded.

Meanwhile, Colonel Tibor Lakatos, Head of the Operational Group, said “an expansion of hospital capacity is underway, so that everyone can receive the proper care."

Lakatos said coronavirus restrictions are still in force and their compliance is continuously being monitored by the police. “However, I would like to call to attention that the government and the Operational Group aren't planning to order curfews or the closure of cities and neighborhoods,” he stressed.

Colonel Lakatos ensured everyone again that freight transportation remains continuous and barrier-free, and two more border-crossings had been opened at Rábafüzes and Kópháza.

“An agreement between Hungary and Slovakia was also settled. Under this, citizens of these two countries may enter the other country within a 30-kilometer zone from the border in order to go to their workplace,” he said, adding that “starting tomorrow, they will also need to present an employer certificate to do this.”

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