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Budapest Agreement with Private Laboratory to Screen for Coronavirus

Fanni Kaszás 2020.03.30.

On Sunday, Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony, announced on his official Facebook page that the Budapest Municipality Government has made an agreement with a private laboratory to create the conditions for screening the health and social care staff in Budapest.

In the statement, Karácsony said that last week, the mayor of Újbuda, opposition DK’s Imre László, confirmed at an online press conference that two general practitioners of the XI district tested positive for coronavirus. He also referred to the recommendations of both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Hungarian Medical Chamber to test as broadly as possible, and the necessity of screening those who are at the frontline fighting the epidemic to further avoid such cases.

Coronavirus: Healthcare Workers Infected, Quarantined

WHO president Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said two weeks ago that the most effective way to prevent and save lives is to break the transmission chain. For this, “testing and isolation” are essential, as “we cannot blindly extinguish a fire and we cannot stop this pandemic unless we know who is infected.” Ghebreyesus ended with a simple but direct message “for all countries in the world: test, test, test. Test all suspicious cases.”

Coronavirus Mass Screening: Is It Needed or Not?

The Budapest mayor said that this is why the capital is working to create the conditions for screening the health and social care staff in Budapest. To do this, three things must be available: “equipment, laboratory capacity, and of course, money.”

As the Budapest mayor also wrote in his post that “over 6,000 healthcare workers in Italy have been infected with the coronavirus,” latest figures show that healthcare workers make up 9% of Italy’s COVID-19 cases, and more than 40 of them so far have lost their lives.

Thus, the metropolitan government has made an agreement with a private laboratory to create the conditions for screening the health and social care staff in Budapest. Karácsony wrote that “if it is up to us, we will be protecting the heroes of Budapest – who protect us from the epidemic – from next week on.”

featured photo: Illustration (MTI/Sóki Tamás)