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Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony has rejected the allegations of the chief medical officer regarding the coronavirus-hit Pesti Road retirement home as “a lie”.

Cecília Müller said that the care home had been operating without doctors for at least a week. She added that they had documents to prove that “there were no doctors physically present” there. The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases at the home reached 223, 19 of whom are staff, the chief medical officer said, adding that 23 people have died.

Care home head rejects “false accusations”

Meanwhile, the head of the Pesti Road home rejected the “false accusations” regarding the absence of doctors at the institution. The Budapest Mayor’s Office quoted József Skultéti, the head of the retirement home, as saying in an e-mail addressed to the chief municipal clerk that the institution “employed a full-time doctor prior to and during the epidemic”. Medical services have been available at the home the whole time, in line with the existing contract between the institution and the service provider, Skultéti added.

Budapest Mayor: smear campaign by the government, officer playing political role

Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony said in a Facebook post that his office “is again responding to lies with facts and to political smears with documents”. The mayor said it was “rather concerning that the chief medical officer, too, is being forced to play a political role” in connection with the epidemic.

Karácsony said that contrary to Müller’s remarks, during the period in question, the general practitioner assigned to the home had been busy testing the home’s residents using test kits provided by the city council.

But when the doctor began displaying symptoms of Covid-19, the institution was only notified a week later that the doctor’s first coronavirus test had been botched, he added.

“If anything, this is what was irresponsible,” the mayor said. “And what is responsible is that when the doctor was quarantined, we immediately moved to find a replacement.”

In the featured photo illustration: Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony. Photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI