Even stricter lockdown conditions have been suggested by the Hungarian Medical Chamber’s president, Gyula Kincses, than the ones the Chamber previously recommended for Hungary. On Tuesday, Kincses stated that “a short but strict lockdown is much more effective than one that is more lenient and drawn out.” Unlike the Medical Chamber, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry has already shared its reopening ideas with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
The Hungarian Medical Chamber (MOK) published a list of recommendations on Monday calling for stricter conditions than what the government has put in place, since the workforce of Hungary’s healthcare system is overburdened and with no more available workers.
They ask the government to limit the number of customers in shops, prohibit groups of more than three people in public (except for families), and to close all stores except grocery stores and pharmacies.
Medical Chamber President Believes Hungary’s Lockdown Not Strict Enough
On Tuesday, the Chamber’s president Gyula Kincses called for even stricter measures than the ones his colleagues at MOK suggested.
In an interview with InfoRádió, Kincses said that “the vaccine is the future, but tomorrow is our responsibility. The vaccine will be the one which allows for a May-June reopening. But whoever is being inoculated next week has no guarantee that they will not end up in a hospital or an ICU this week.”
Kincses considers it everyone’s individual responsibility to protect themselves, and not to catch the virus. According to him, there should be far more public discipline during a lockdown in Hungary.
Outside of grocery stores and pharmacies everything should be closed. Why should convenience stores remain open? All basic toiletries and cleaning supplies can be accessed at grocery stores. And people should plan their shopping ahead. It should not occur that I run to the store for some butter today and go again tomorrow for a kilo of bread. Grocery shopping should occur once a week.”
Kincses added that “more people die in two days now than the total number of people who died in last Spring’s wave” (when an almost full lockdown had been in effect for months).
Chamber of Commerce Shares Reopening Ideas
Unlike Kincses, the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry suggests the slow reopening of stores and plazas. They suggest a reduced number of shoppers who must maintain social distancing.
In every store, they suggest shoppers be required to maintain 15 to 20 square meters of distance, for immunity certificates to be put to use (even in catering and tourism), and for the lifting of time restrictions in stores.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met with the Chamber’s leaders on Tuesday at the Carmelite Monastery, where they informed him of their recommendations. Orbán shared the suggestions on Facebook, adding that human life comes first, meaning that reopening cannot begin until every person above the age of 65 is vaccinated.
If Gyula Kincses’ suggestions are put into effect, Hungary’s lockdown would be revamped to two weeks of never before enacted restrictions, which the MOK president believes to be necessary.
Perhaps if Kincses’ recommendations are put into effect, they may pave the way for the Chamber of Commerce’s ideas to be applied in a slow, gradual reopening. Regardless of how strict restrictions are, members of the community already trust and expect one another to act responsibly during this pandemic.
Feautured photo illustration by György Varga/MTI