Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told public Kossuth Radio that the average age of those that had died was 75.5 years, and warned that the elderly continued to be a high-risk group.
Currently there are nearly 6,900 people in hospital with Covid-19, he said, but added that “the number could rise as high as 15,000 or even 20,000”. Hospital beds, ventilators and hospital staff are needed to handle the situation, Orbán said. In addition to utilising domestic reserves, staff will be ordered to move between hospitals if necessary and resident doctors, medical students in the final year and private health sector staff will also be expected to get involved in the efforts, he added.
“There will be enough beds, enough ventilators and enough staff,” he said.
Orbán also asked people to postpone “luxury vacations planned to dangerous locations” because these carry the risk of importing new virus variants which could endanger other people. Orbán said good progress was being made with the national vaccination drive, with 862,953 people having received their first shot. A total of 2,813,668 persons have registered for vaccination by Friday morning, he added. He projected that 2.4 million people would have been inoculated by the first week of April, 4.7 million by early May and over 8 million by early July.
Commenting on vaccine shipments, he said the Chinese shipments were arriving on schedule, there have been slight delays in Russian shipments and EU orders were unreliable. He said it was impossible to enforce the vaccine purchase agreements signed by the European Commission. There will be a shift in the vaccination drive from GPs who personally know their patients to mass vaccination, Orbán said. He added that there were some technical problems involved, including cases of vaccinated people being called again for inoculation or some called to vaccination points far away from their place of residence. A decision has been made to suspend this system for a review and an operative body has been set up to correct problems. A telephone line has been set up where people can report any problems they experience with the vaccination drive and get personal advice, he said.
The prime minister also slammed the leftist parties for “fighting against the government rather than the virus” and for “representing Brussels in Hungary”.