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CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER: EPIDEMIC ENTERS NEW STAGE

 

The outbreak of the new coronavirus in Hungary has entered its next stage, going from isolated cases to clusters, chief medical officer Cecília Müller said.
The cases identified in the country so far were either individual ones or within smaller communities, she told a press conference after a meeting of the operative board coordinating the epidemic response. But in the coming days the epidemic is expected to appear in clusters, she said, adding that at this stage it would be impossible to trace infections. Müller advised those who could to stay at home and minimise social contact, saying all contact with others presented a risk of infection.
She said that besides the National Centre for Public Health (NNK), two additional labs would begin testing samples for the virus and more hospitals would treat patients. If the number of Covid-19 patients rises, infectology departments outside Budapest will also be involved in treating them, she said. Müller said that though there was sufficient space in hospitals for quarantining people, the authorities were also ordering people to home quarantine. Concerning the country’s blood supply, she said all non-urgent surgeries had been cancelled, meaning that blood supply needs would also change.
The chief medical officer also said several health-care workers were in quarantine due to coming into close contact with patients, adding, however, that their initial tests had come back negative.
Meanwhile, she said Interior Minister Sándor Pintér’s first test for the virus has come back negative, as did those of more than forty of his contacts. Moroccan media reported on Saturday that Abdelkader Amara, the transport minister, had tested positive for the virus. The minister last week visited Hungary and met the interior minister, among others. The Government Information Centre on Sunday said Pintér showed no symptoms of Covid-19 but would undergo the same examinations as everyone who had come into contact with patients.