The impact of Covid-19 vaccines can already be seen in Hungary’s trend of declining daily new cases, the chief medical officer said on Tuesday.
The number of new cases recorded has fallen by 21 percent since last week, Cecília Müller told an online press briefing of the operative board responsible for handling the pandemic. The average age of the patients is 45 years, she said.
More than 4,326,000 people have registered for a vaccine, and 69 percent of them have already received their first dose, Müller said. Fully 33.4 percent of the Hungarian population has been vaccinated, compared with the European Union average of 18.5 percent, she said.
Public trust in the vaccine is rising thanks in large part to a flow of positive news and scientific studies on the jabs that are also in use in Hungary, Müller said.
She said the arrival of new vaccine shipments in the country will accelerate inoculations and allow everyone who has registered to get their shot.
Monday saw a delivery of 68,800 doses of Moderna, to be used as second jabs, Müller said. On Tuesday, 72,000 doses of AstraZeneca and 248,040 doses of Pfizer vaccines are scheduled to arrive, she said, as is a delivery of second shots of Sputnik V. A shipment of the Sinopharm vaccine is also scheduled to arrive in the coming days, she added.
Trace amounts of the virus in waste warer, an indicator for case numbers in the coming days, is stagnating or falling somewhat, Müller said. However, it remains higher than at the beginning of the third wave, she added. This points to a high number of active infections and to the importance of adhering to epidemic regulations, she said.
As terraces and garden venues open, the evening curfew will stay in place, Lieutenant Colonel Róbert Kiss, deputy leader of the operative board, said. As soon as the number of vaccinated reaches 3.5 million, the second stage of lifting restrictions can take place, he added.
Terraces and garden areas can open between 5am and 9.30pm, and guests do not have to wear masks. Indoors, however, where they order food and drink and use the toilet, masks remain mandatory. Restaurant staff must wear a mask at all times. Everyone must be home by 10pm, he said.
featured image illustration via Csaba Krizsán/MTI