The first hospital commanders – uniformed people who will make it easier for health-care workers to do their jobs – were issued their commissioning letters on Sunday afternoon, Tibor Lakatos, who heads the operations centre of the operative board, which is coordinating Hungary’s efforts to contain the novel coronavirus, said at an online press conference on Sunday.
The commanders will be tasked with managing hospitals’ inventories, facilitating the flow of information and ensuring the security of hospital premises, Lakatos said.
They will take over some of the administrative burden from health-care workers, allowing more resources for treating patients, he added.
The commanders will take no decisions nor make any recommendations concerning professional issues of a medical nature, Lakatos said.
He noted that curfew restrictions in force from Saturday allow certain opportunity to leave home, but reminded people that this doesn’t mean everybody can gather in the open or use public spaces. The goal remains to reduce the speed at which the virus spreads through social distancing, he added.
Cross-border traffic of freight as well as of people commuting to their jobs is running smoothly, he said.
Fielding a question, Lakatos said police concentrated on enforcing curfew restrictions at markets and shopping centres on Saturday, the first day they were in force. Feedback was positive: people understand the importance of social distancing and of allowing people 65 and over to shop during designated periods, he added.
The curfew restrictions prohibit anyone but those who are 65 and over from doing shopping in supermarkets, pharmacies and stores that sell cosmetics and household products between 9.00 in the morning and noon.
Lakatos said deliveries of personal protective equipment that arrived in Hungary last week are being stockpiled. Deliveries of protective gear at present are coming from existing inventories, and efforts are being made to ensure every hospital has at least one week of PPE on hand, he added.
featured image: illustration; by MTI/Zsolt Szigetváry