Hungary has avoided a high coronavirus death toll in terms of the population, the country’s chief epidemiologist said on Thursday.
Both the death rate and the infection rate have been similar to what neighbouring countries have experienced, János Szlávik of the Budapest South Pest Hospital told an online press conference.
The number of active cases is continuously declining but there are still many Covid-19 patients in intensive care, Szlávik said, adding that one patient has been on a ventilator for four weeks.
Róbert Kiss, a spokesman for the operative board coordinating Hungary’s response to the epidemic, told the same press conference that the government decree on the next phase of response measures to be introduced in Budapest has been published in the official gazette Magyar Közlöny. Under this decree, restaurants are allowed to open their indoor areas from Friday but employees will still be expected to wear face masks and observe physical distancing rules, Kiss said. Budapest hotels and open-air playgrounds will also be allowed to reopen, he noted.
Meanwhile, another government decree will enable the staging of outdoor sporting and cultural events, he said. Open-air music and dance events, however, are still banned, Kiss said.
So far 1,653 people in home quarantine have agreed to have their compliance with quarantine rules monitored electronically, he said. Fully 573 people were ordered into home quarantine by the authorities over the past 24 hours, with 11,525 people quarantined in total, Kiss said.
Four patients have died in the past 24 hours, all of them elderly and suffering from underlying illnesses, bringing the total number of fatalities to 509, while novel coronavirus infections in Hungary have increased by 23 to 3,816, koronavirus.gov.hu said on Thursday morning. Fully 1,996 hospitalised patients have made a recovery. The number of active infections has fallen to 1,311.
Fully 404 Covid-19 patients are undergoing treatment in hospital, 24 of whom are on ventilators. Altogether 11,525 are in official home quarantine. The number of tests carried out stands at 174,011. Budapest (1,818 people) has the highest number of infections, followed by Pest County (541), Fejér County (369) and Zala County. Békés County (11) has the lowest number.