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Coronavirus in December: Blackest Weeks Followed by Plateau Phase

Péter Cseresnyés 2021.01.05.

Despite the strict restrictions, the spread of the coronavirus epidemic has continued in Hungary in December as well. While the epidemic broke several records in the first half of the month, the virus now seems to have entered a plateau phase. There were several days in December when Hungary was among countries where the proportion of those who died from the coronavirus was the highest in the world. Despite an encouraging decline in the number of active infections, the number of deaths still remains very high. Analysis.

The number of active cases in Hungary was 151,294 on the 1st of December. This showed a steady increase throughout the first half of the month, reaching a record high on December 19, with a startling 198,785 people in Hungary being infected with the coronavirus. Fortunately, the rate of active infections has been continuously declining since then, with 158,548 active cases on the first day of January.

There was also a positive change in the number of daily new cases registered, which decreased from on average of more than 5000 during the first half of the month to under 3000 by the end of it.

Coronavirus: Fatalities Reach a Frightening High at 193
Coronavirus: Fatalities Reach a Frightening High at 193

A total of 193 coronavirus patients have died over the past 24 hours, while 5,525 new COVID-19 cases have been officially registered, the official government website koronavirus.gov.hu said on Saturday morning. The total number of cases since the first outbreak in the country has risen to 243,581, while the death toll now stands at 5,706. […]Continue reading

Similar to the decrease in cases, the number of hospitalized people slowly started to decline as well, significantly dropping from 7,784 to around 5,648. The number of those on ventilators also showed a considerable decrease from 662 at the beginning of last December to 401 on the very first day of January 2021.

On average, the number of tests carried out has not increased significantly and Hungary is continuing to see positive test ratios above WHO’s suggested 5% and even above WHO’s absolute upper limit of 12%.

Fortunately, the proportion of positive tests dropped significantly from a shockingly high 68 percent at the end of December. In early January, on average ’only’ 15 percent of tests conducted came back positive.

Although the above-mentioned statistics might suggest that Hungary could soon be safe from trouble there is one indicator that warns us all, that the situation is still far from over.

Namely, the daily number of deaths in Hungary is still alarmingly high.

These statistics stood at 154 on December 1st and reached a record high only a few days later on December 5th with 193 daily fatalities. Even though by the beginning of January this number also dropped by a small amount (it was 130 on Jan 1st) the mortality rate has started stagnating, remaining very high despite the steady decline in active cases. So much so that during December population-wise Hungary was continuously among those few countries of the world with the highest number of deaths due to the epidemic.

Based on data from Johns Hopkins University, on December 20 in proportion to the population, Hungary had the highest number of coronavirus-related deaths in the whole world.

Featured photo by Zoltán Balogh/MTI