Hungary’s numbers for confirmed COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed in the past week or so. Experts believe that vacationing abroad combined with younger generations not paying attention to the threat the virus poses are the primary causes for these numbers.
The low death rate, despite an increase in the number of novel coronavirus infections over the past week, was due to predominantly younger people catching the virus, the chief medical officer told MTI on Sunday. Cecília Müller said a second wave of the epidemic is underway with cases rising all over the world.
Hungary’s Sunday figures showed 292 new infections, and this resulted mostly from imported cases and community infections, she said. Müller added that wearing masks remains compulsory in shops and on public transport, but it is also recommended in all locations where people cannot keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres.
The rector of Semmelweis University, Béla Merkely, expected the second wave of the coronavirus to start-off in the middle of September, coinciding with the beginning of the school year. He told RTL Klub Híradó that he believes this early increase is due to people travelling abroad during the summer.
He said that these summer vacations abroad could have been skipped. However, many people spent weeks in Croatia, and they are responsible for transmitting the virus by attending mainly indoor events, parties, and weddings. He attributes tourists’ participation in these events as being the primary reason for the huge increase in the number of cases.
Merkely also hopes this wave will be more moderate than the previous one, as younger generations at these events are more likely to get infected, but also have a greater chance at fighting the virus successfully. He believes that travel restrictions are insufficient, as the numbers are already high, meaning that the virus is already within the country’s borders. He stated that the best we can do is hope that the virus continues to spread only among younger generations, and does not reach the elderly. He would focus on protecting schools, the health system, and social services.
Chief epidemiologist János Szlávik agrees with Merkely and Müller about the origins of the new cases. He said to HírTV that newly registered coronavirus cases are due to infections from parties, wedding, or other events in closed spaces. Those who participate in such events should subsequently monitor themselves for symptoms, says Szlávik. He further added that the other option would be to postpone all of these parties.
As we have written recently, there is a possibility that the number of infected has increased due to more tests being conducted. This is most likely a result of the rule stipulating that two negative test results are needed to enter the country, which is especially relevant in light of Hungarian tourists returning home from abroad at the end of summer.
Featured image by Zoltán Balogh/MTI