Hungary’s healthcare system has been strained for the past weeks and numbers continue to grow. The presidency of the Hungarian Medical Chamber published a somber announcement on Monday night, in which they made serious requests to the public and government decision-makers. Since there are no more available workers in healthcare, which is already under extreme strain, the number of people-to-people contact needs to be drastically reduced to slow the rate of new infections and ease the burden on healthcare.
“Overcoming the epidemic, opening up the country, and preventing a fourth wave depends on the rapid, effective implementation of the vaccination program. We are doing very well in this, but the number of people hospitalized now, at the peak of the third wave, and the number of deaths, depends on the restrictive measures and the self-discipline of the population. Therefore, the vaccination program must continue in a forced manner and personal protection, distance, and contact minimization must be strengthened,” the Hungarian Medical Chamber argued.
The Medical Chamber further asks people:
- to plan their shopping in advance and if possible go to the store once a week maximum
- although garden work alone is safe, DIY stores should not be the “new plazas” where people live their social lives
- avoid public transport if possible
- they should not visit their loves ones, or friends
- they should not go to popular parks, lakes, or excursion places during the weekends
- they should avoid all travel, including domestic
- and that during Easter people should cancel celebrating with family, as this is the only way we can take care of our loved ones.
The Chamber also argued that reducing social contact, keeping distance, wearing a mask in a proper way, and washing our hands is now a personal responsibility measurable in terms of human lives. They acknowledge the fact that everyone wishes for a freer, unrestricted life, but it is crucial that we do not make the previous restrictions ineffective by premature easing.
Therefore, the Medical Chamber asks the decision-makers to:
- immediately limit the number of customers in shops at the same time
- prohibit the formation of groups of more than three people in public places with the exception of those living in one household
- order the closure of malls and shopping centers in which only the grocery stores and pharmacies can be opened; and public spaces should be used only to access shops and for nothing else.
Featured photo by Zoltán Balogh/MTI