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Coronavirus: Dedicated Units to be Set up for Acute Respiratory Patients in Primary Care, says Chief health officer

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.03.24.

Dedicated units are being set up at the level of primary care for patients suffering from acute respiratory symptoms, the chief medical officer said on Tuesday.

Separate units will operate for all other patients so they can be physically separated from those with respiratory problems, Cecília Müller told an online press conference of the operative board in charge of coordinating tasks during the novel coronavirus epidemic.

The new units are planned to be introduced within a week, and the measure serves to reduce contact between doctors and patients, as well as between patients, she added.

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In response to a question about whether the deceased in Hungary were getting tested for coronavirus, she said they were not. The human resources minister has ordered the suspension of post-mortems in cases where the cause of death is known, she said. On rare occasions it is uncertain whether the deceased had been a coronavirus victim, she said. If this is suspected, then testing can be done within a short period after the time of death, she added.

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Commenting on the rate of spread of the virus, she said Hungary was in a lucky position because several timely measures had been introduced. At the same time, she declined to make projections about the length of the epidemic, adding that mathematical models were in the making.

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She also said that pregnancy was not among the risk factors for coronavirus. But the virus can change how the immune system works, she added, and recommended that pregnant women avoid meetings and see to personal hygiene.

She said all hospitals were well prepared to receive patients, and capacity is being expanded. Intensive care capacity is planned to be tripled, she added.

Featured photo illustration by Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI