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The novel coronavirus in Hungary is spreading at a faster pace than ever, putting the country under increasing pressure until a vaccine is at hand, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said.

In an interview with public broadcaster Kossuth Rádió, Orbán said that the government was ready to open additional hospitals and to assign more doctors and nurses “in an effort to keep up with the task”. Orbán said he expected the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic to last longer and be more difficult than the first one. He said it would require restructuring while simultaneously increasing health-care workers’ capability of carrying burdens.
Commenting on the agreement reached between the government and the Hungarian Chamber of Doctors (MOK) on substantially raising the wages of doctors, Orbán said the chamber had been “pushing” its proposals to the government over several months, triggering a debate in the cabinet on whether a substantial wage hike in the sector would be in conflict with necessary economy protection measures. “This is the moment when we need to stand together, when we need to achieve a breakthrough in improving doctors’ pay,” Orbán said, noting that on MOK’s proposal, gratuity payments were going to be eliminated from the system.