Hungary took delivery of 17.5 million face masks last week and will continue to receive protective equipment against coronavirus this week, the foreign minister said. Addressing parliament, Péter Szijjártó noted that Hungary has imported almost one hundred million face masks since the outbreak of the epidemic. The shipments last week also contained 620 ventilators and 850,000 doses of medicines, he said. Hungary further received 525,000 doses of virus tests kits, taking the number of imported kits to around 2.5 million, while an additional 1.2 million are on the way, Szijjártó said. The shipments also contained 16.4 million items of protective gear, including face shields, gloves and protective gowns, bringing their total number so far to 56 million items, he added. The minister dismissed press reports that many Chinese supplies fell short of European standards, insisting the protective equipment did meet those standards and may be used without any reservations.
Commenting on debates around Europe concerning the easing restrictions and about concerns over their possible consequences, Szijjártó said every country sought to create balance between protecting the health of their citizens while restarting their economies. The first consideration, he added, was the most important.
Meanwhile, after signing a strategic cooperation agreement with staffing agency Prohuman on behalf of the government, Szijjártó said staffing agencies were likely to play a key role in the country’s economic recovery following the novel coronavirus crisis. Prohuman has partnerships with several hundred companies and is among the country’s top ten employers, the minister noted. The HR company had net revenue of over 34 billion forints (EUR 96m) last year, public records show. Hungary’s government has so far signed strategic cooperation agreements with 85 companies.