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Hungary’s novel coronavirus epidemic has started winding down, the chief medical officer said on Thursday.

An easing of restrictions outside the capital has so far not led to a spike in infections, Cecília Müller told an online press conference, adding, however, that definite conclusions could only be drawn once the virus’s 14-day incubation period has passed.

The number of Covid-19 hospital patients in Hungary is declining, with only 23 percent of all cases requiring hospital treatment, Müller said. About one-quarter of all coronavirus cases have been detected in elderly care homes and one-quarter of fatalities have also been care home residents, she added.

In response to a question, Müller said 13 percent of all cases were health-care workers. The virus has spread to 45 hospital departments, she said, adding that these had all been locked down and were not admitting patients.

The chief medical officer said more and more people were returning to work, underlining the importance of adhering to physical distancing rules in the workplace as well.

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Róbert Kiss, a spokesman of the operative board coordinating Hungary’s response to the epidemic, told the same press conference that on Thursday the national ambulance service, retirement homes and 29 hospitals will receive more protective equipment.

He noted that two smartphone apps had been developed with the aim of aiding the response to the epidemic. One serves to monitor those in home quarantine, while the other, VirusRadar, is a contact tracer app, Kiss said. At present, 528 people are using the quarantine monitoring app, he added.

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Fully 641 people were ordered into home quarantine by the authorities over the past 24 hours, with 11,084 people quarantined in total, Kiss said.

Featured photo by Gergely Botár/kormany.hu