Schools will definitely not re-open before June 2, Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, said, adding that it was conceivable that the academic year may be concluded even if students did not return to the classroom before the summer holiday. The government may rescind its special emergency powers towards the end of June unless the situation changed dramatically, he said. Current regulations are in effect until Friday midnight. New regulations will be made public on Friday or Saturday, he said.
Concerning reports that several hospitals lacked supplies of protective gear, Gulyás said all hospitals in Hungary had supplies for at least the next ten days. Hospitals report their stock levels daily and the national supply centre takes action if replenishments are needed.
Answering a question concerning whether people may be detained and prosecuted for spreading false rumours via social media, Gulyás said: “Charges have not been raised except in two cases”. In one, the prosecutor “had a different view to the police and did not qualify the activities as criminal”. The authorities may make mistakes from time to time, but they can be held accountable, and compensation is paid to anyone detained wrongfully. The government has called on the authorities to limit such actions to “only the most justified cases”, he added.
Regarding the health-care system, Gulyás said it was crucially important that health capacities are kept flexible with a view to a possible second wave of the virus. Even after the state of emergency is over, regulations to ensure a rapid response must be left in place, he said. If the current trend of fewer and fewer cases persists, hospitals will be able to resume normal operations by and by, he said. There are close to 5,000 working ventilators in Hungary’s hospitals. More ventilators are on the way, he said, adding that new deliveries will increase Hungary’s stock to between 8,500 and 9,000 units.
On the topic of Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony’s plan to reopen the capital dubbed “Budapest Restart”, Gulyás insisted Karácsony had drafted “such a long programme” so that “he wouldn’t have to commit to reopening Budapest or leaving things as they are”.