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ORBÁN: HUNGARY CANNOT REOPEN ECONOMY YET

Hungary cannot reopen its economy yet but chances are good that, ahead of most or all European Union countries, life could become free by the summer and "we will have a free summer", the prime minister said.
 

There are realistic chances that kindergartens, schools and secondary schools can reopen on April 19, Viktor Orbán told public broadcaster Kossuth Radio’s morning programme. He said the opening times of shops are planned to be extended in order to avoid long queues and the curfew will be adjusted accordingly. The operative board in charge of epidemic response was discussing the details of the regulations, Orbán added. He said that rather than predicting when the third wave would peak, the main question was when the numbers would start decreasing, but “nobody can tell that”. Some 275 people died on Thursday, 11,823 were in hospital, including 1,480 on ventilators, he added. Orbán said there were 10,343 free beds and 1,693 ventilators still available. Some 500 volunteers have joined the protective efforts and 1,200 medical students are also at work, he said. Orbán said the most difficult weeks of the pandemic were under way and the third wave was caused by the British variant, which is able to infect three times more people than previous variants. He asked young people to observe the regulations, also because of their own safety.