The Chief Medical Officer appealed to people to remain disciplined, to observe the rules and to behave responsibly.

At a press conference held on Wednesday in Budapest after the meeting of the Operational Group responsible for the containment of the coronavirus infection, Cecília Müller said “Only together can we conquer the epidemic”.

She repeatedly pointed out that the elderly are most at risk from the coronavirus. She asked young people not to organise parties, and not to go to places where there are many people.

She asked everyone to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly, and those returning from abroad to retire to voluntary home quarantine.

She also said positive coronavirus cases have been identified in practically every part of the country. So far 1,803 samples have been tested, and the authorities are aware of 58 infected persons.

Ms. Müller stressed that the goal of all the measures is to minimise the spread of the virus in order to achieve “a downward epidemic curve”. The protocol which serves to give health care workers and hospitals guidance has been amended for the fifth time now. At the same time, she highlighted that assisting health care workers and the personnel of the authorities in itself is not enough for the successful management of the epidemic; members of the public should actively cooperate.

In answer to a question, the Chief Medical Officer said it is not possible to state a specific number of incidences beyond which there is no need for contact searches. She added that after a while it is impossible to identify who contracted the virus from whom as this could be the case in the event of the group spread of the epidemic. “There is a situation when it is no longer reasonable to conduct contact searches because of the large number of incidences,” she said.

Regarding the patients’ condition in general, Ms. Müller said the diagnosed patients cared for in hospital are not in a serious state. She indicated that during the period ahead hospital care (quarantine) will not necessarily be required; if the clinical symptoms are not serious, home quarantine will be sufficient.

The medical expert also told the press that hospitals report to them every day about the number of operational ventilators they have, the number of available ventilators and the number of reserve machines in the country.

In answer to the question as to whether they have considered the need for putting up health care workers in student resident facilities so that they do not have to go home to their families, Tibor Lakatos, head of the duty centre of the operational group responsible for the containment of the coronavirus infection said there is no need to worry about mass infection among health care workers; at the same time, they have prepared for providing appropriate care for them.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)