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Hungary’s opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) said on Friday that hospitals still did not have enough protective gear.

The party said it had seen a letter showing that a senior hospital doctor had asked colleagues to use FFP2 masks more than once.

DK board member Olga Kálmán presented the letter at an online press conference with the names of the doctor in question and the hospital blanked out.

Kálmán cited the part of the letter stating that wearing surgical masks would not protect hospital workers from infection, therefore FFP2 masks should be worn. However, since not enough FFP2 masks were available, staff were asked to re-use them after two days of “rest”, she added.

Kálmán said masks of this type only provided protection for up to four hours. She added that she would make a written request to Human Resources Minister Miklós Kásler seeking an explanation from the government as to why hospitals still lacked proper amounts of protective gear.

In response to a question, Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller told a press conference that all hospitals had two weeks’ supply of the FFP2 masks and there existed no “letter” instructing doctors that they should reuse such masks. The hospital commanders send regular reports to the operative body on the volume of protective gear available in their respective hospitals, she added.

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