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Apr 03, 2020

PM Orbán: Healthcare workers will receive a bonus for fighting on the COVID-19 frontline

The government will be rewarding each healthcare worker with an additional allowance of HUF 500,000 for their efforts in this battle.

During his regular interview slot on Kossuth Radio this morning, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán discussed the possible extension of movement restrictions, preparations for large-scale infection, and a new economic recovery plan. He also thanked all those currently fighting on the frontline, announcing that healthcare workers will receive a bonus of HUF 500,000.

PM Orbán added that unfortunately there is still no vaccine for the virus, so the current situation cannot simply be eliminated.

“The best we can do is slow down the spread of the virus by minimizing social contact,” he said. Measures to enforce a slowdown remain in force, he added, emphasizing that we must fight for the lives of each and every individual.

PM Orbán thanked everyone fighting to combat the disease. Hungary’s state of emergency was declared 23 days ago, and everyone has been playing their role as part of the defense, from health workers to transport operators. The government is setting up an epidemic fund that will be presented tomorrow by Gergely Gulyás, the Minister heading the Prime Minister's Office, and will be rewarding each healthcare worker with an additional allowance of HUF 500,000 for their efforts in this battle.

The prime minister also mentioned the greater burden on mothers caring for smaller children at this time of crisis.

PM Orbán stressed that the government would decide on the future of currently imposed movement restrictions this coming Wednesday. Expert medical advice will determine whether or not to extend these measures.

Assessing Hungary’s current situation, PM Orbán stated: “They also knew during communism that they would eventually drive out the Russians. But in the meantime, what would happen? This is the case now because it might take a year and a half to get the vaccine, but the question is how to arrange our lives in the meantime.”

"We are facing an insidious enemy that is hard to imagine," he added. We are fighting two viruses: One is fear, while the other is the virus itself. There are those who must overcome their fear: priests and state leaders, police, soldiers and doctors. Because if they are in fear, they cannot make the right decisions,” he added.

The prime minister said that Hungary is currently receiving help from the Turkish Council and China. An “air bridge” to China had to be built, and a production line for masks had already arrived. He emphasized that a health relocation plan had also been prepared in order to redeploy forces in the event of large-scale infection.

Regarding the current economic crisis, the prime minister said that although circumstances have changed, goals set earlier must not be abandoned. “We must not turn our back on the aid-based economy because it leads to indebtedness,” he stressed, adding that the objective remains to maintain a labor-based economy. On Tuesday, the government will present its biggest economic recovery plan ever, the first two chapters of which will be about preserving jobs and creating new jobs.

The prime minister also spoke about constantly engaging intellectual energies from different parties. “The program is under way; we have been preparing this program for weeks and are progressing very well,” he said, adding that they will be announcing it on Tuesday.

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