Hungary’s novel coronavirus epidemic has started winding down, the chief medical officer said on Thursday. An easing of restrictions outside the capital has so far not led to a spike in infections, Cecila Müller told an online press conference, adding, however, that definite conclusions could only be drawn once the virus’s 14-day incubation period has passed. The number of Covid-19 hospital patients in Hungary is declining, with only 23% of all cases requiring hospital treatment, Müller said. About one-quarter of all coronavirus cases have been detected in elderly care homes and one-quarter of fatalities have also been care home residents, she added.
In response to a question, Müller said 13% of all cases were health-care workers. The virus has spread to 45 hospital departments, she said, adding that these had all been locked down and were not admitting patients. The chief medical officer said more and more people were returning to work, underlining the importance of adhering to physical distancing rules in the workplace as well.
Six coronavirus patients have died in the past 24 hours, all of whom had an underlying illness, bringing the total number of deaths to 436, while the number of registered infections rose by 39 to 3,380, koronavirus.gov.hu said. Fully 1,169 patients have made a recovery, while the number of active infections has fallen to 1,775. Currently 658 coronavirus patients are being treated in hospital, 49 of whom are on a ventilator. Altogether 11,053 people are in official home quarantine. Fully 123,258 tests have been carried out. Budapest has the most registered cases (1,619), followed by Pest County (459) and Fejér County (339). Békés County (11) has the fewest.
Róbert Kiss, a spokesman of the operative board coordinating Hungary’s response to the epidemic, told the same press conference that on Thursday the national ambulance service, retirement homes and 29 hospitals will receive more protective equipment.
He noted that two smartphone apps had been developed with the aim of aiding the response to the epidemic. One serves to monitor those in home quarantine, while the other, VirusRadar, is a contact tracer app, Kiss said. At present, 528 people are using the quarantine monitoring app, he added. Fully 641 people were ordered into home quarantine by the authorities over the past 24 hours, with 11,084 people quarantined in total, Kiss said.