In an interview with commercial broadcaster ATV, the rector of Semmelweis University said that the actual number of cases could be roughly twenty times greater than those confirmed currently.
The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases has skyrocketed in the last few weeks in Hungary. Over the past day, there has been an increase of 576 cases, meaning that the number of active cases is now larger than the total number of recoveries.
In the meantime, the basic reproductive rate of the virus has increased to two. This means that on average, anyone afflicted with COVID-19 is passing it on to two other people, Béla Merkely, the rector of Semmelweis University emphasized in an interview with ATV.
Merkely pointed out that the virus was not circulating during the first wave, but after it was brought in, the circulation of the infection was at least ten times higher than in spring.
The nationwide coronavirus test program showed that the real number of those infected with the virus is likely around twenty times that of the confirmed number, which means that there are about a hundred thousand infected people in Hungary, the rector said. He also pointed out that more people have been infected in the last 10 days than in the first wave of the epidemic.
One of the most significant differences compared to spring is that the majority of those infected are young adults between the ages of 20 and 40. Merkely says that on the one hand, this is good news, since mortality rates are much lower among young people. He continued, however, that it is imperative to prevent young people from passing the virus on to the elderly.
Merkely says the epidemic cannot be fixed with a single measure, there are multiple things to do in order to control it. He adds that he would make face masks mandatory, since this could potentially curb the reproduction of the virus.
Finally, he pointed out that it was not enough to test only those with symptoms, emphasizing that COVID-19 can be transmitted the easiest in the days after getting infected, before showing any sign of the symptoms.
Featured photo by Tamás Sóki/MTI