The government ordered a large number of ventilators at the outbreak of the novel coronavirus epidemic because “we wanted to avoid a situation seen in several Western countries where doctors had to select patients to put on a ventilator, determining who could live and who should die”, a state secretary of the foreign ministry said on public television on Wednesday.
The government had expected that 10,000 ventilators would be needed in a worst-case scenario, and ordered over 16,000 “so that 10,000 are certainly delivered” with regard to a “huge competition”. He said that the orders were worth a combined 300 billion forints (EUR 851m), adding that “human lives cannot depend on money”.
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Menczer said that the ventilators not needed in Hungary’s health care will be resold. Some countries in Africa and Asia have indicated their interest in buying, he added.
The state secretary stressed that Hungary’s purchasing of coronavirus-related protective gear had always been based on guidelines from epidemiology experts.
Featured photo by Zoltán Balogh/MTI