Budapest residents who have demonstrated “respectable acceptance” of restriction measures so far deserve to know the city’s novel coronavirus infection figures “which the government has so far failed to make public”, Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony said over the weekend. Karácsony said in a post on Facebook that the figures were much needed for the planned reopening of the city and also because of “an increasing number of contradictions that must be clarified”. He cited the fact that during its Saturday press conference the operative board that coordinates Hungary’s response to the epidemic did not reveal how many people were in hospital and how many on ventilators. The mayor said it would also be important to know why nearly four thousand data items had disappeared from the public health authority website and added that it would be important to know the number of hospital infections.
He said screening data from private health-care institutions showed 0.3% positive test results which confirmed the suspicion that the epidemic was mostly spreading “in hospitals and from hospitals”. “If this is true then it was shockingly irresponsible by the municipal government office to prohibit the screening of patients released from hospitals,” he said.
The state secretary for international communication and relations said Karácsony had been “continually and desperately” trying to distract attention from the fact that the epidemic was spreading mostly in elderly care homes in Budapest. Zoltán Kovács said on his Facebook page that Karácsony had acted with a delay and failed to prepare elderly care homes for the epidemic despite having the powers and the responsibility for this. Kovács posted a diagram showing that of 93 coronavirus deaths from elderly care homes 64 were in Budapest.