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Coronavirus: Budapest Mayor Proposes Package to Reopen Capital

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.05.13.

Mayor Gergely Karácsony has completed a package dubbed Budapest Restart containing proposals for the government and planned municipal decisions.

Karácsony summed up in a Facebook entry on Wednesday “what the government and the municipality should do, what lessons international examples can offer and in what areas we should be extremely careful”.

According to the mayor’s summary, the government should go on with mass testing, and publish all data. People with the slightest symptoms connected to Covid-19 should be allowed to go on paid leave, and patients should only be transferred to another hospital or released from the facility if they test negative. Karácsony also suggested that working hours and school classes should start at different times to ease overcrowding.

Coronavirus: Mayor Karácsony Requests Budapest Infection Stats from Chief Medical Officer

As for the municipal council, Karácsony called for further coronavirus screening and pledged transparency of data. He also said that further public spaces should be turned over to pedestrians and cyclists, with continued public transport developments and the introduction of digital devices to avoid crowds.

The mayor said that planning for restarting activities in the city “must not create the illusion that the epidemic is over” and warned that “what is ahead of us will probably be war”. He said that Budapest should be reopened in a way that it can respond to any possible recurrence of the novel virus.

War of Words between Gov’t and Mayor Reveals Conditions of Reopening Budapest

Karácsony said that an earlier routine of life can only be restored if the number of new Covid-19 cases stabilises at a low level; if mass testing is continuous and data are public; if there are enough reserves in health care and nobody is left without necessary services, and if residents continue wearing face masks and observe social distancing rules.

Featured photo illustration by Márton Mónus/MTI

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