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Hungary Joins Forces and Volunteers to Fight Coronavirus

Fanni Kaszás 2020.03.20.

With the spread of the coronavirus and the growing number of patients and those who are in quarantine, Hungary is joining forces to help, with many people volunteering and making donations to make the coming weeks easier. Closed restaurants provide free food to doctors and nurses, while civilians offer their empty apartments and houses to prevent healthcare workers from endangering their families. Many businessmen are offering their hotels and hospitals to house those in quarantine, and some people are also buying medical equipment with their own money. More than 900 people have applied to assist doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers, while many people are volunteering to help the elderly with shopping and medicine. 

MTI/Koszticsák Szilárd

Hungarians join forces and volunteer 

The Ministry of Human Capacities has started to round up volunteers to replace GPs, professionals, and emergency service providers over the age of 65. Within two days, nearly 900 people applied and can be deployed as needed. Some candidates have already been assigned to work.

Healthcare Gears Up On Preparations as Coronavirus is Expected to Spread Wider

In another call, Minister Miklós Kásler announced to medical students in their final year of university studies that they could be mobilized to perform various tasks (care for those in quarantine and the elderly, surveillance of people suspected of being infected, etc.) to curb the coronavirus epidemic.

MTI/Koszticsák Szilárd

Several hospital workers in Budapest received free housing from Facebook group members to keep their family members safe and prevent them from being infected. A group of Airbnb fans in Budapest have teamed up in a Facebook group and offer free housing to healthcare professionals working in hospitals and who are in direct contact with coronavirus patients. The purpose of this is to help doctors, nurses, and their colleagues to

not worry about the health of their family members and help them move away from their loved ones for the next few weeks.

Although healthcare workers have not begun seeking housing in masses, this will certainly increase with the spread of the pandemic in the country.

photo: Facebook

Since many people can’t afford to rent their own apartment in addition to their family’s apartment or house, it’s a great opportunity for them that Airbnb landlords and those who have empty apartments offer them for free. This way, they do not have to worry that they would perhaps infect their own families when they got home after their shifts at the hospital.

Coronavirus: Volunteer Action Group to be Set Up by Gov’t

A new movement also spread on social media with the hashtag #feedthedoctor (#etesdadokit). A non-profit foundation with this name has also been set up to provide food for doctors working around the clock to help Hungary beat the coronavirus. Executive Chef Márton Keve and gastro blogger András Jókuti originally came up with the idea to provide healthy and nutritious food for at-risk medical staff during the coronavirus epidemic. Anyone can make a donation in a Facebook group.

Many civilian donations have already been made to healthcare staff, but Tamás Kásás’ Italian restaurant, Rosenstein restaurant, and a lángos place is also providing hospital staff with free food. For example, the three-time Olympic champion’s water polo restaurant, Tommy Di Napoli, which is temporarily closed due to the coronavirus, delivers 200 pizzas a day to hospitals, while Lángosland from the Fény utca market supplies them with 50 lángos a day. Online supermarket kifli.hu sends donations of HUF 100,000 to hospitals a week, but there are also some who send them chocolate, hamburgers, or pastries.

Businessmen, athletes, celebrities, and civilians offer money and equipment to help the fight

Péter Gulácsi, the goalkeeper of the Hungarian football team and Germany’s leading RB Leipzig, has announced on his official social media sites that he and his wife will donate HUF 5 million to support the foundation of the Infectology and Intensive Department of St. László Hospital.

Another sportsman, tennis player Tímea Babos has also donated HUF 1,5 million to the hospital of her hometown, Sopron and asked her followers to join her in her initial.

Uzsoki Hospital also received an immediate donation from Viktor Orbán’s son-in-law, businessman István Tiborcz’s real estate development company BDPST Group. Last year, the company made it to the most valuable 100% Hungarian-owned businesses, while Tiborcz made it to the list of Hungary’s richest people last year as 32nd and the youngest of the millionaires. The hospital, among others, will buy two ultra-modern ventilator machines with the money.

OTP leader Sándor Csányi, one of the richest men in Hungary, also offered his help to curb the pandemic in Hungary. In the next few days, the Buda Health Center Ltd. (BEK)’s Királyhágó Hospital will be transformed into an epidemic hospital, with the necessary internal technical modifications and accelerated training of the nursing staff. They are joining the epidemiological care according to the instructions of the operational board. Csányi also announced he’d acquire 20 additional anesthesia machines, also suitable for ventilation of patients.

Several hotels have been offered as quarantine by their owners. For example, a hotel in Siófok is offering free rooms for locals returning from abroad. Those who do not have the opportunity or would have difficulty arranging voluntary quarantine in order to protect their relatives, the director of the hotel offered the rooms in which to spend their required 14 days of isolation.

featured photo: Gottsegen György Országos Kardiológiai Intézet Facebook