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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade tasked the Hungarian embassies with selling 8,000 ventilators, HVG reported. The ministry later confirmed this to the liberal weekly, but without specifying any factual data.

In its response, the Ministry admitted that they indeed are trying to sell the “machines above the strategic stocks” and that the procedure was still underway.

They explained that in the first wave, the lack of ventilators had become a problem in a number of countries, meaning “…that doctors in several European countries had to decide whom to put on a ventilator and whom not, who could live and who had to die. Hungary aimed to avoid this terrible situation, so it decided to purchase ventilators. There was tough competition for ventilators on the international market, and we had to stand up to that competition. It is now established that under no circumstances can it happen that someone doesn’t have access to a ventilator. The adequate number of devices is available,” the Ministry insisted.

At the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, Hungary had a supply of 2,560 ventilators, according to the government. Their calculations found that the country would have needed at least 8,000 of them for the worst case scenario. However, it later turned out that the government, to make sure that “10,000 would arrive,” has purchased a total of 16,863 ventilators costing as much as HUF 300 billion (EUR 815.5 million) in total. According to experts, this price was very high compared to other country’s purchases.

featured image via Zoltán Balogh/MTI