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Coronavirus – Chief Medical Officer: Budapest at Risk of Spike in Cases

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.04.05.

Budapest is at “serious risk” of seeing an “explosion” of coronavirus cases, with most of Hungary’s confirmed cases located in the capital and Pest county, the chief medical officer said on Sunday.

Fully 62 percent of the country’s confirmed novel coronavirus cases have been recorded in Budapest and Pest county, Cecília Müller told an online news conference after a meeting of the operative board coordinating the response to the epidemic, asking the public for strict compliance with curfew and social distancing restrictions.

Müller said there were “many people” who did not take the curfew rules seriously enough or had misunderstood the time frame designated for shopping for basic items.

She noted that Hungary has so far reported 733 confirmed coronavirus cases. Two more elderly patients suffering chronic diseases have died over the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s death toll to 34, she said.

In response to a question, Müller said the current lab capacities were sufficient for carrying out the necessary number of testing, adding that Covid-19 patients were being treated at hospitals other than South Pest Central Hospital.

Hospital staff are constantly being supplied with protective equipment, she said.

Asked if any hospital departments have had to be placed on lockdown, Müller said Covid-19 patients were being treated at multiple departments of multiple hospitals. If a single department were to be overrun with coronavirus patients then no more would be admitted there, she said. In this case, non-Covid-19 patients would be sent to another hospital.

featured image: police patrol at Normafa in Budapest; via MTI/Noémi Bruzák