“People’s opinions are important to the governing parties, and since 2020 is being determined by the coronavirus, we have centred the questions of the latest National Consultation around the topic”, the Ministry of Human Capacities’ Parliamentary State Secretary said at a press conference in Budapest on Tuesday.

Bence Rétvári highlighted: “Overall, Hungary has protected against the virus well and successfully, since it introduced the necessary measures in a timely fashion”. With relation to this, he said that Hungary’s figures for the number of deaths per on million population are better than those of Turkey, Finland, Romania and Austria.

“However, it is also apparent that if a capital city such as Budapest does not introduce certain measures, if it is late in making decisions and avoids problematic situations, then that can have serious consequences. In Budapest the number of infected people per one hundred thousand population was two and a half times the national average”, he highlighted, adding that in the rankings of European capital cities only the level of infection of five capitals had been worse.

The State Secretary said that behind these “sad figures” were primarily the infections that had occurred in some Budapest old people’s homes, which are the consequence of decisions not having been made.

“As a result, in preparation for a possible second wave of the epidemic, it is important to ask people their opinion on tightening the epidemiological measures relating to old people’s homes”, he stated.

He indicated that over 80 percent of those who had died as a result of the coronavirus in Hungary were over 65, and a quarter of the deceased were residents of an old people’s home.

“This is one of the reasons why it is important that people living in old people’s homes be particularly protected”, Mr. Rétvári emphasised.
He said that 3800 out of the country’s 55 thousand old people’s home places are maintained by the Municipality of Budapest, but three quarters of deaths came from old people’s homes that are maintained by the Municipality.

“The Municipality-maintained Pesti út old people’s home was the most serious outbreak site of the virus, which was eventually disinfected by the military, and to which the government provided 17,100 face masks and 8,400 pairs of protective gloves”, he reminded the press.

“Everyone needs to work together to protect against the epidemic, and by doing so the health of people living in old people’s homes and social institutions can also be protected”, Mr. Rétvári highlighted.

According to the State Secretary, many other local governments were able to introduce the required measures, but the Municipality of Budapest “was more concerned with waging a political battle on Facebook than with protection”.

(Ministry of Human Capacities/MTI)