The enormous pressure on the Hungarian healthcare system is further increasing due to the third wave. According to the official report this morning, 8,270 coronavirus patients have been hospitalized. This means a new sad record for Hungary, as at the peak of the second wave in December this number stood at 8,045. Based on the pace of the rise, the already tense situation will continue to deteriorate in the upcoming days.
János Szlávik, the chief infectious physician of the South Pest Central Hospital said that practically all the beds reserved for coronavirus patients in the hospital are full, and there are a lot of people in the intensive care unit as well.
“I hear that across the country, unfortunately, more and more patients are being hospitalized, more and more patients are being admitted to the intensive care unit and, unfortunately, are being ventilated,” he added.
The number of people in need of a ventilator has risen again, with 833 patients being treated with artificial respiration. That number has already surpassed the second-wave record last week (647) and is growing at a frightening rate.
Szlávik also mentioned that until now it was rare for the disease to spread to an entire family at once, but today it is common due to the new mutant virus variants, which spread very easily from person to person. Primarily this causes an increase in the number of cases and also an increase in the number of patients entering the hospital. According to the expert, the British mutation is causing 10-15 percent more severe symptoms, which is now devastating Hungary.
He also stressed that protection measures should be taken very seriously and that the vaccine – which also seems to be effective against the variants – should be given to as many people as possible. According to him, in order for the epidemic to be curbed, at least 2-2.5 million people need to be vaccinated.
Chief Medical Officer: Epidemic situation in Hungary ‘extremely grave’
The past few days have seen an “unprecedented upsurge” of the coronavirus epidemic in Hungary, making the situation “extremely grave,” the Chief Medical Officer said at an online briefing on Tuesday.
Cecília Müller noted that the number of active infections has grown by “five to ten thousand people in the past couple of days.”
The healthcare system is hit hard by the high patient numbers, with new wards being opened for Covid patients every day, Müller added.
Meanwhile, trace amounts of coronavirus in the waste water have grown in every Hungarian city, she said, forecasting a further increase in case numbers.
Müller called on everyone to observe hygiene guidelines carefully and to accept the vaccine when offered.
Otherwise, the effects of third wave may become very severe. According to epidemic modeling experts at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) supported by the Bill Gates Foundation, in the third wave of the epidemic, more people could be infected and die in Hungary than ever before.
The projection estimates that nearly 500 people will die every day in Hungary due to the coronavirus at the end of March, and more than 40,000 people could die from the epidemic by July.
Calculations depict that the epidemic may peak in Hungary at the beginning of April, and at best the numbers will decrease drastically towards the end of June.
Featured photo illustration by Zoltán Balogh/MTI