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Hungary Prepared for Next Potential Health Crisis, Foreign Minister Pledges

MTI-Hungary Today 2023.05.24.
Szijjártó WHO

Hungary has taken all necessary and possible measures since the coronavirus pandemic to be prepared for another potential health crisis and to be able to protect people’s lives, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said in Geneva on Tuesday, according to MTI.

The minister told the General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) that the past three years have brought several challenges, and one of the most serious was the coronavirus pandemic.

The most important task for the international community is to prepare for possible future challenges, he said, adding that

the over-politicization of international health should be avoided.”

Politics and ideology have nothing to do with saving people’s lives, he said, and mixing geopolitics with health issues will cost many lives.

The lesson learned from Hungary’s successful epidemic management was that taking geopolitical issues into account would have resulted in many more victims.

If Hungary had waited for the president of the European Commission to order vaccines “by text message,” fewer lives would have been saved,”

he said, referring to Ursula von der Leyen’s disputed deal with Pfizer.

Instead, the government acted and bought vaccines from the East, whose effectiveness was tested by Hungarian experts, he said. As a result, Hungary was able to launch the fastest vaccination campaign in the European Union and was the first member state to lift restrictions, he said. Hungary was even able to offer 8.6 million doses of vaccine to countries in need, he added.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of building strategic reserves, even if they are considered unnecessary or too expensive under normal circumstances, he said.

Szijjártó said Hungary has taken all the necessary measures to be prepared for the next potential health crisis, citing the purchase of cargo aircraft, the construction of a national vaccine and respirator manufacturing facility, and the readiness to produce protective masks and gloves.

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Featured photo via Facebook/Szijjártó Péter

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