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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, in a radio interview on Friday, encouraged Hungarians to get themselves inoculated against the coronavirus, warning that the country was on the cusp of a third wave of infections.

With a third wave of the pandemic hitting the country, people should make a rational, rather than an emotional decision on getting vaccinated, as it could even cost them their lives, Orbán told public broadcaster Kossuth Radio.

“I ask everyone to register and go and get themselves inoculated and if possible, accept whichever vaccine they are offered,” the prime minister said.

Third Wave Officially Arrives in Hungary
Third Wave Officially Arrives in Hungary

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 […]Continue reading

Orbán also said that some 120,000 people filled out the government’s National Consultation survey on reopening the country on the first day. The responsibility for reopening the country obviously lies with the government, he said, adding that the best decision would be made if more and more people had their voices heard.

“If we can fend off a third wave, we can reopen the country,” the prime minister said.

He said Hungary had the biggest stock of effective Covid vaccines out of all European Union member states. The prime minister said that by the end of May, Hungary can have 3.5 million more people vaccinated than an EU country of similar size “because we don’t rely solely on the EU’s slow vaccine distribution but also use our own resources to procure more” jabs.

National Consultation on Reopening Hungary Gets Underway
National Consultation on Reopening Hungary Gets Underway

The government’s National Consultation survey on conditions for lifting restrictions after the coronavirus epidemic has gotten under way. In the survey which consists of only seven questions, the government seeks the public’s opinion on whether the country should be reopened gradually or in one fell swoop once the epidemic has subsided. Opinions are also sought […]Continue reading

He noted that Péter Szijjártó, the minister of foreign affairs and trade, had predicted a “race for vaccines” as far back as November and had recommended that Hungary hold talks on purchasing vaccines from all over the world to get ahead of a projected vaccine shortage. This is why Hungary entered into talks with Russia and China, Orbán said, adding that he “doesn’t really care what the others have to say about this” as Hungary “always has to be one step ahead of them”.

He pointed out that “the Germans and everyone else” were now working to procure doses of the Russian vaccine and said he expected other countries to begin authorising the Chinese jab as well.

Orbán-Babis Meeting: Swift Measures Key to Saving Lives, No Time to Wait for 'Slow Brussels'
Orbán-Babis Meeting: Swift Measures Key to Saving Lives, No Time to Wait for 'Slow Brussels'

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán emphasized the importance of procuring Covid-19 vaccines as quickly as possible after talks with his Czech counterpart Andrej Babis in Budapest on Friday. “Those who act quickly will save lives while those who are slow will lose lives,” Orbán told a joint press conference. The prime minister said it was […]Continue reading

Asked when Hungary could begin using China’s Sinopharm vaccine, Orbán said he had been told by the chief medical officer that analysis of the jab was “going well”.

The prime minister warned, however, that Hungary was facing “a moment of danger” as it sees a steep rise in coronavirus cases and overall deteriorating epidemiological trends.

Complications Arising Around Vaccination Process
Complications Arising Around Vaccination Process

Hungary’s vaccination of those between the ages of 18 and 59 has begun, but people who have no serious condition are also receiving letters of notification. Furthermore, the government has made doctors the ones responsible for picking up vaccines from government offices, and has requested that they work overtime during weekends. Multiple readers reported to […]Continue reading

“Our fate will be decided by whether the vaccination curve or the infection curve will rise faster,” the prime minister said. If vaccinations can outpace the rise in cases “then we will save lives” but if they fail to keep up with the third wave of infections “we will lose lives,” Orbán said.

He praised the efforts put forward by Hungary’s “exceptionally strong” health-care system over the past year, saying it had saved many lives and would again withstand the pressure posed by the pandemic.

He added that the health-care system had plenty of reserves, and would even be able to handle a sudden influx of 20,000 Covid patients if it became necessary.

Nearly 10,000 More People Died In Hungary in 2020 than a Year Before
Nearly 10,000 More People Died In Hungary in 2020 than a Year Before

In 2020, nearly 10,000 more people died in Hungary than a year earlier. The increase is clearly due to the coronavirus epidemic, but it is worrying that the mortality rate only increased during the second wave, and drastically. In this period alone, nearly 15,000 more people died than in the same period of the previous […]Continue reading

Orbán said 391,821 people had already received at least their first shot and the number will soon reach 441,000. This will be followed by a “huge jump” because 650,000 people will get inoculated over 7-10 days, he added. By early March, 1,225 million people will have been inoculated and by April, the number will reach 2,582 million, Orbán said, adding that everyone registered for vaccination will have received it by Easter.

People ready to be inoculated will be told which vaccine is available and if they refuse it, “we will assure them that they do not lose their place in the line” and they will be notified at a later date, when the vaccine they want becomes available, Orbán said.

State Secretary: Hungary Targets 70% Vaccination Rate by June
State Secretary: Hungary Targets 70% Vaccination Rate by June

With the government working to procure as many Covid-19 vaccines as possible, Hungary could have 70 percent of its population inoculated by June, a government official said on Tuesday. Achieving this target would give Hungary one of the highest vaccination rates in the European Union, allowing it to lift restrictions and reopen its economy earlier […]Continue reading

In response to opposition criticism, he said the left-wing was following “a school of power, from Lenin through Rákosi and through János Kádár, it is a political tradition … when it comes to power, the left-wing knows no mercy”.

“If the left-wing believes that it can gain power more easily if the right-wing national government’s vaccination programme is unsuccessful and the handling of the epidemic is unsuccessful, then they will pronounce just that”, he said. The left-wing has openly rejected cooperation “but they have gone too far” because human lives are now at stake, he said.

Commenting on the 30th anniversary of Visegrad Group cooperation, he said “if we join forces, we all benefit and get richer”.

Hungary and Poland must be connected by as many high-capacity energy links and transport networks through Slovakia as possible, he said, adding that this was a basic economic strategy interest for Hungary.

A road link to Kassa (Kosice) is expected to be ready by the end of this year but Poland is still far away from there, so the next stretch will have to be built, possibly in a joint project, he said.

Orbán: Visegrad Group Responsible for Shaping Europe's Future
Orbán: Visegrad Group Responsible for Shaping Europe's Future

The Visegrad Group countries have a responsibility to protect Europe from external attacks and internal imperial ambitions in the interest of the continent’s future, and to preserve “the independence of our homelands and nations”, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in article in the Wednesday issue of pro-government daily Magyar Nemzet. Over the course of its […]Continue reading

For a long time, “we were defending Europe” from external threats but the situation has changed because western Europe has allowed cultures with non-Christian roots to enter, Orbán said. “We built the fence and stopped migration” but this type of pressure is now arriving not through central Europe anymore, he said. However, any “clever western European politician” understands that strong central Europe is also a strategic interest for western Europe, he added.

Featured photo via Viktor Orbán’s Facebook page