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Apr 29, 2020

Coronavirus Update: Staggered system planned to control epidemic and ease restrictions

With staggered regulations, the epidemic can be controlled, and the time is soon coming to restore normal living and the economy.

 

László Palkovics, the minister of technology and innovation, has said that with staggered regulations, the epidemic can be controlled, and the time is soon coming to restore normal living and the economy.

During an interview with Magyar Hírlap, the minister said the government took mathematical and epidemiological modelling into consideration during its decision-making, which has given rise to a “staggered” system of controls. This means “pulling back and letting go” when it comes to restrictions.

The minister said three basic criteria determine this mechanism: the spread of the virus and the parallel of how many patients need hospital treatment; the state of the economy; and the quality of social and community life.

Various restrictions have been introduced to slow down the spread of the epidemic by drastically reducing physical contact, with a view to increasing hospital capacity and purchasing protective equipment. This, he said, was the “pull” phase. But the corresponding impact of the economy and the suffocation of community life is unsustainable, so a “let go” phase is planned for next week. Gradually, restrictions will be eased based on a strict schedule, and the life of the nation and its economy can begin to be restored, he added.

Palkovics said as personal contacts intensify, the number of infected is expected to increase. “But we are ready to care for them properly.” Should the epidemic cross a defined threshold, the “pull” policy will be reintroduced to slow down the spread of the virus once again.

The minister said the hard part of decision-making was ahead of the government: how to gauge optimal intervention and apply the “pull, let go” mechanism. “We have control, regulation and intervention tools in place, and measurements of the virus’s transmission. It’s not easy to keep the epidemic on a level we’ve achieved with total repression. But now we must fine tune the restrictions so the economy and people [can recover] while keeping the virus at bay.”

Finally, the minister said the government is continually analyzing the state of the economy and consulting with economic players.

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