Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has warned that a failure by young people to follow the rules could endanger the elderly and the sick. “Now the effectiveness of our defense against the pandemic really depends on us,” the prime minister said in his speech to lawmakers.
According to MTI, the prime minister said the government has capped the price of coronavirus tests at HUF 19,500 and decided that clubs and bars must close by 11pm.
PM Orbán said Hungarian healthcare was equipped to face twice the number of coronavirus infections as that modelled in worst-case scenarios. He said “doctors and mathematicians” estimated, at the severe end of the scale, that Hungary may contend with 200,000 coronavirus infections, with 16,000 requiring hospitalization and 800 patients on ventilators. The government has made preparations to accommodate twice that number, with 66,000 hospital beds available, he said. The health-care system continues to operate under a chain of command so that when certain hospitals reach maximum capacity others are activated, he said.
On the subject of the economy, PM Orbán said the government was committed to protecting jobs, noting that by August, 4.5 million people were employed compared with 4.458 million in January. Overall, nearly one million were benefitting from some sort of employment or job support.
A total of 15,000 businesses have applied for the government’s investment support scheme, saving over 207,000 jobs, he said. Some 37,000 companies have applied for the wage support scheme with a commitment to creating 49,000 new jobs. The government provided a 40 percent wage subsidy to the R&D&I sector for a period of three months, the prime minister said, adding that some 1,100 businesses applied for funding and the scheme benefitted 23,000 people.
To protect households, the government has extended a loan moratorium on mortgages for families, pensioners, jobseekers and fostered workers to July 1, 2021, PM Orbán said. This will secure the households of 1.6 million people and the scheme has left families and businesses with an additional HUF 2,000 billion, he said. PM Orbán insisted that Hungary had been the only nation to show such a level of solidarity with its citizens during the coronavirus crisis.