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Hungary’s borders must definitely be tightened and stricter travel rules introduced in light of the big escalation of the coronavirus epidemic, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in an interview to public radio on Friday.

Even business people must understand that viral variants must be radically curbed, even for business trips beyond Europe’s borders, he added.

The prime minister said many people were planning trips to “exotic destinations” which were getting more affordable in the current circumstances, and he noted that some of the more infectious virus mutations are actually from Africa.

Orbán also noted that the operative body responsible for handling the epidemic ordered hospitals to ramp up their level of preparedness at its meeting this morning, and this level would be the same as during the critical phases of the epidemic in April and November last year.

PM Orbán Warns Hungary Set to Face 'Hardest Two Weeks' of Pandemic
PM Orbán Warns Hungary Set to Face 'Hardest Two Weeks' of Pandemic

Hungary is set to face its hardest two weeks of the coronavirus pandemic yet, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a video on Facebook on Thursday, encouraging the public to register for a vaccine. The prime minister said he had met a group of mathematicians on Thursday to discuss epidemiological trends the country could expect […]Continue reading

During the past 24 hours, 4,668 new infections were reported and 123 lost their lives to the epidemic, Orbán noted. A total of 451 people are on ventilator of 5,027 people in hospital, he added. Fully 15,831 hospital beds are vailable and 2,296 are equipped with a ventilator, he said.

The number of infections is expected to increase drastically in the weeks ahead, putting an increased burden on the health-care system, Orbán said.

Orbán has appealed to Hungarians to register to receive the coronavirus vaccine, saying that all applicants would receive their first dose by Easter. This would result in the highest vaccination rate in the European Union, he added.

Most vaccinations are carrried out by GPs, so there will be enough people to continue the vaccination drive, he added.

Skepticism Overshadows Chinese Vaccine's Rollout in Hungary
Skepticism Overshadows Chinese Vaccine's Rollout in Hungary

The Chinese Sinopharm vaccine has arrived to Hungary’s GP offices, and has now effectively become a working part of the nation’s vaccination process. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s emphasis on urgency and the vaccine’s sudden authorization have, however, caused a growing amount of skepticism due to the lack of documentation available regarding its effacy and safety. […]Continue reading

Human Resources Minister Miklós Kásler, he said, had acted wisely by stopping certain hospitals from returning to normal operations because these can join the fight against the epidemic.

Commenting on press reports about Hungary not tapping the entire amount of Moderna vaccine available, he said “we are good at tapping resources”, with 17 million doses of vaccine reserved by the country. However, vaccines ordered by the European Union are arriving at a slower rate than projected and “without the Russian and Chinese vaccines we would not have enough”, he added.

The Chinese vaccine will soon become available to those overseeing the protective efforts, he said.

He slammed certain politicians for being “irresponsible”, insisting that the left wing was involved in spreading fake news and uncertainty, and trying to discourage people from getting vaccinated when this was the only chance to improve the situation.

Hungarian Press Roundup: Rollout of Chinese Covid Vaccine Begins
Hungarian Press Roundup: Rollout of Chinese Covid Vaccine Begins

As family doctors start inoculating hundreds of thousands of Hungarians with the Chinese anti-Covid vaccine, a liberal news site finds government communication on the Sinopharm vaccine confusing, while a pro-government outlet praises the jab. Hungarian press roundup by budapost.eu Background information: family doctors throughout the country were each asked to provide a list of 55 patients […]Continue reading

Asked about possible EU infringement proceedings in connection with partial border closures, Orbán said Brussels was worried about the European economy being immobilised by curbs on freight, but now was not the time to hold each other accountable amid the Covid crisis, he added.

Every country must protect itself and also maintain the flow of goods needed to run the economy, he said.

Orbán said that whereas he would prefer to defend the European Commission, the body deserved censure for wasting time by trying to obtain a vaccine cheaper, but ultimately its procurement efforts should be supported.

He insisted that Hungary’s strategy of sticking by its national right to licence vaccines was correct.

The prime minister said the country’s vaccination drive was being run “rather well” and was progressing accordingly. More people could be vaccinated at the same time if more vaccines were available, he said.

“With Mass Vaccination, Coronavirus Can No Longer Win” – Interview with Chief Infectologist János Szlávik
“With Mass Vaccination, Coronavirus Can No Longer Win” – Interview with Chief Infectologist János Szlávik

“Just get whichever vaccine is available. The virus can no longer win.” –  We sat down to discuss the rollout of coronavirus vaccines in Hungary, vaccination in general, and the race against the virus’s evolution, with South Pest Hospital Centre’s chief infectologist, János Szlávik. Let us jump a couple of months forward in time. It’s […]Continue reading

Orbán warned that in the third wave of the epidemic many tens of thousands could lose their jobs. He noted wage subsidies and job-saving schemes, adding that subsidies were being provided in the first month after the restrictions are lifted.

He noted that 55,000 fewer people have a job than a year ago, adding that at least as many jobs must be created in the coming months.

Regarding recent cyber attacks on government sites, he said the attacks came from “the international arena” as well as internally, the latter being political in nature. Protection systems need constant improvement, he added.

Featured photo by Zoltán Fischer/PM’s Press Office