The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) has called on the government to order protective clothing for medics from China as a matter of urgency. DK lawmaker Lajos Oláh said it would be possible for such a shipment to arrive in Hungary before the end of this week. The epidemic in China is almost over and the country has vast production capacities, he told a press conference on Wednesday, adding that he had talked to the leaders of various Chinese provinces who expressed their readiness to send supplies to Hungary. Also, China has respirators available and rapid coronavirus tests, Oláh said. He urged the government not to waste time, adding that Italy and the Czech Republic had already made similar moves. Oláh said that protective face masks should be made available in pharmacies with price controls in place.
Meanwhile, the opposition Socialists called for unemployment benefits to be extended to at least 9 months from the current three for people who lose their jobs in connection with the virus epidemic. Socialist MP Ágnes Kunhalmi told a separate press conference that the benefit should be raised to a monthly 100,000 forints (EUR 286). Also, she said social security contribution payments should be waived for small businesses during the state of emergency. She also called on the government to ban layoffs at multinationals. In addition, the Socialists want people working in health care, public transport, the postal service and welfare services to receive a bonus, given the health hazards involved, Kunhalmi said, adding that people failing to pay their social security contributions should not be excluded from services during the crisis.
Kunhalmi also called on the government to send letters to everyone over 60 asking them not to leave their homes.