Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that if necessary the government will introduce pandemic restrictions for New Year’s Eve, adding, at the same time, that it appeared Covid case numbers were flattening. However, the government plans to make the issuance of immunity cards conditional on the receipt of a booster jab at the end of January at the latest, he added.
Asked about concerns expressed by experts over granting approval for the use of the Sputnik V and Sinopharm Covid jabs, PM Orbán noted that the World Health Organization had approved the Sinopharm vaccine, while Hungarian experts had inspected the two plants where the Sputnik jab is being manufactured. The prime minister also said that any pandemic wave that emerged in the rest of the EU would eventually also make its way to Hungary. He added that the government had done everything it could in terms of defending the country against the pandemic. Meanwhile, PM Orbán said the competition authority should investigate the discrepancy between the price of rapid Covid tests in Hungary and western Europe, saying he did not understand why they cost twice as much in Hungary. “This current situation is in no way acceptable,” he said.
Asked about the 16,000 ventilators Hungary purchased early in the pandemic, PM Orbán said that after the first outbreak of the virus, experts had expected that 8,000-10,000 ventilators would be needed. The government therefore decided to procure 15,000-16,000 ventilators “to be as safe as possible”, he added. Asked how much the procurements had cost the government, he said: “We believe we’ve saved hundreds of lives.”
Photo credit: MTI