Over the past 24 hours, another 2,853 people in Hungary caught the coronavirus, reports koronavirus.gov.hu. The Chief Medical Officer announced the beginning of the third wave of the coronavirus in Hungary at today’s coronavirus press conference.
4,021 infected people are currently being treated for the virus in hospitals, among them 332 are on ventilators.
104 people died within a day, raising the total number of deaths to 14,035. The last time the daily number of deaths exceeded 100, while cases exceeded 2,853, was a month ago.
It is highly plausible that the sudden jump in infection was caused by the UK variant of the coronavirus rapidly spreading throughout Europe, much more infectious and potentially more deadly.
More people are being hospitalized as well, a monthly record has been reached for those on ventilators at 332.
Vaccine Shipments Give Hungary a Fighting Chance
The daily average of people who have received their first inoculation stands at 10,057, and so far 365,021 people have received their first, while 141,023 people have received their second inoculation.
With the arrival of the Chinese vaccine, the amount of available vaccines has increased to 651,025 doses. However, the Sinopharm vaccines are under examination by Hungary’s National Public Health Authority (NNK), and can only be used after NNK provides them with a license.
The Pfizer and Sputnik V vaccines are being used for the elderly at hospital vaccination points, while the AstraZeneca vaccine is being used on those under the age of 60 with a chronic illness.
A new shipment of AstraZeneca is schedule to arrive today, February 18.
A Noticeable Spike in Hungary’s Coronavirus Cases
The following graph via Átlátszó’s Koronamonitor depicts the daily increase in Hungary’s confirmed coronavirus cases, with the black line representing the moving average of cases over a 7 day period. The daily increase in cases is shown in yellow.
The data makes it clear that the highest rate of active infection took place at the beginning of December, and has been dropping steadily until its recent spike within the past few days.
Given that cases were stagnating after December, the sudden increase during harsh lockdown conditions is highly likely to be the result of the British mutation of the virus infiltrating Hungary. This gives cause for labelling it as a third wave of the pandemic.
Could It Really Be a Third Wave?
Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller announced the beginning of the third wave of the coronavirus in Hungary at today’s coronavirus press conference.
Müller said the first wave died down relatively soon, but the devastation caused by the second wave did not end, it simply stagnated, until the recent spike which the medical officer is referring to.
Müller also clarified regarding the Sinopharm vaccine, that alongside its first shipment this week came its detailed documentation. Currently the National Public Health Center (NNK) is analyzing whether the provided documentation is correct.
János Szlávik says a little bit more time should be given for analysis before a third wave is declared. Still, the infectologist says that restrictions must be maintained, and does not see any logic behind reopening within the coming weeks.
Featured photo illustration by Zoltán Balogh/MTI