So far, 27 residents died in an elderly care home in Budapest’s eastern suburbs, the chief medical officer told an online press conference on Tuesday, adding that in a second round of testing another 58 residents and 4 employees proved infected with the novel coronavirus.
Cecília Müller said that those infected will be isolated within the facility in Pesti Road. She added that elderly home residents treated in hospital cannot be released before two consecutive samples come back negative.
So far, the virus has spread to 20 retirement homes, three of which have a relatively high case count, she said. Only a couple of people are infected in the rest of the homes, Müller said, adding that those residents would be monitored for symptoms.
Müller said that homes for the elderly were being inspected nationwide, and health authorities would soon start disinfecting them in cooperation with the army.
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Meanwhile, she said the head of the local office of the World Health Organisation (WHO) had recently assessed the status of the epidemic in Hungary and had backed the testing methods employed by the health authorities. Müller cited the head of the office as saying that coronavirus testing in Hungary was widespread enough. The authorities make 30 tests around every confirmed Covid-19 patient compared with the WHO’s recommendation of ten tested people, she added.
(According to actual official data, Hungary has so far taken 50,052 samples. This data means 5,181 tests taken / 1 million population. If we look at the international chart, as of now, Serbia and Romania have approximately the same figure (5,191 and 5,279). Meanwhile, most countries in the region test much more: Poland (5,928), Croatia (6,482), Slovakia (9,053), Czech Republic (16,679), Slovenia (20,672), and Austria (20,987). Even the often-criticized Sweden has tested much more than Hungary (7,387).)
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As regards estimates that Hungary could hit the peak of the virus around May 3, Müller said the projection did not mean that the epidemic would end on that day, adding that it was impossible to know how long the plateau would last.
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She noted that the number of novel coronavirus cases in Hungary has reached 2,098, with 213 fatalities and 287 recoveries. Altogether 842 people are in hospital, 82 of whom require ventilation.
Featured photo by Gergely Botár/kormany.hu