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Mar 23, 2020

Coronavirus Update: PM Orbán says the more we cooperate, the more lives we can save

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has revealed details about the four avenues of defense against the coronavirus.

Speaking before the Operational Group’s press conference today, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has revealed details about the four avenues of defense against the coronavirus.

“There are four avenues of defense against the coronavirus in Hungary,” PM Orbán began his address earlier today, adding that “these are military, police, healthcare and economic avenues.”

According to him, 12 days ago when the state of emergency was announced, the question was whether Hungary will wait or decide to act. “We have decided to act because we realized that within the framework of the ordinary regulations, we will not be able to organize Hungary’s collective defense,” the prime minister said.

Reporting on the number of infected people in Hungary, PM Orbán said that currently there are 167 who have tested positive with the coronavirus: 108 people are carrying the virus without showing symptoms, 27 developed symptoms and nine patients are currently in intensive care.

Regarding the healthcare avenue of defense, PM Orbán said that in terms of the available tools Hungary has 1.5 million surgical masks, 590,000 special masks, 20 million plastic gloves and 2,560 ventilators. In terms of the available healthcare personnel, in Hungary there are 19,431 doctors, 4,312 trainee doctors and 690 senior medical students. Moreover, there are 105,000 healthcare professionals on stand-by.

“Beginning tomorrow morning,” PM Orbán said, “doctors and nurses working in intensive care will be provided with special masks.” Meanwhile, new coronavirus cases and those working inside hospital quarantine will be given surgical masks.

Giving an account of Hungary’s police capabilities, PM Orbán said that there are 70,275 police officers and 46,573 volunteers ready to be deployed. They will be complemented by a 43,980 strong military force.

“I announced the first part of the economy protection action plan last Wednesday, here are six additional measures,” the prime minister said, listing further tax exemptions for small taxpayer enterprises in select sectors, suspension of tax collection and enforcement, ban on evictions, exemption for media companies from advertising tax; and the extension of maternity leave and childcare support.

“The most important thing to do now [regarding the economy] is to protect our jobs,” PM Orbán said, because the following period “will be a difficult one”, it will require additional personal effort from everyone.

“The more we cooperate, the more lives we can save,” PM Orbán said in closing.

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