Six emergency medical service workers have become infected with the coronavirus, while the ambulance service has provided assistance for some 15,000 suspected or confirmed coronavirus patients, the Director General of the National Ambulance Service said at the Sunday online press conference of the Operational Group responsible for the containment of the coronavirus epidemic.

Speaking on the day of emergency medical service workers, Gábor Csató highlighted that recent developments have greatly contributed to enabling them to perform their duties to the highest standards also during the epidemic. He said due to the coronavirus epidemic, they have increased their ambulance capacities throughout the country, having commissioned multiple extra ambulance units in each county.

He said ambulance workers have taken samples from some 40,000 persons during the epidemic so far, having used 55,000 protective gowns, FFP face masks and more than 440,000 pairs of rubber gloves in the process. Ambulance workers have covered around 420,000 kilometres in connection with the coronavirus epidemic, Mr Csató highlighted.

He mentioned that more than 400 new ambulances had been commissioned recently; also in the past few hours, they have received more than 40 new ambulances.

“At the core of the effectiveness of our efforts lies the fact that already at the beginning of the epidemic, 8,500 fellow ambulance workers expressed their readiness to fight the virus as one,” he said.

According to his information, the National Ambulance Service has set aside 50 ambulances for the transportation of suspected Covid-19 patients and confirmed coronavirus patients; additionally, at 17 border crossing stations, they have performed health screening on some 315,000 persons. He said the ambulance service is taking part in screening tests, and has distributed more than 5,500 boxes of surgical face masks and almost 20,000 FFP face masks among general practitioners and medical duty services.

On the 72nd birthday of the National Ambulance Service, Mr Csató said thank you to his colleagues, medical students assisting their work, volunteers, Red Cross volunteers, patient transport service providers as well as private individuals and businesses supporting their work with donations.

He recalled that the organised saving of lives began in Hungary on this day 133 years ago, while the National Ambulance Service started its operation on this day in 1948.

(Ministry of Human Capacities / MTI)