Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

Panic buying as fear of coronavirus mounts

February 29th, 2020

The left-wing national daily criticises the government for leaving rural doctors without protective masks and disinfectants to prevent the virus from spreading. The main pro-government daily condemns social media platforms for spreading panic.

While no coronavirus cases had been reported in Hungary by Friday, people have started stocking up food reserves, emptying the shelves in supermarkets. Shops have been able to replenish reserves, but home deliveries have become slower on account of the surge in demand. Prime Minister Orbán told National Public Radio on Friday morning that Hungary cannot remain coronavirus-free, but the authorities have the necessary reserves of hospital beds, medicine and equipment to meet an outbreak of the epidemic.

In Népszava, András Vas reports that general practitioners in rural areas feel abandoned in the face of the danger of a coronavirus epidemic. They are required to distribute face masks and use disinfectant liquids extensively, but are finding it difficult to obtain the necessary stocks because they have disappeared from the pharmacies. Once doctors are required to use special equipment, Vas writes, there should be a central pool where GPs  could turn to for supplies.

Magyar Nemzet’s Levente Sitkei lambasts Facebook and other social media site providers for spreading the coronavirus hysteria. Facebook, he writes is an efficient censor whenever right-wing posts appear on its platforms but does nothing to stop fear-mongering about the coronavirus. Sitkei also accuses opposition politicians of trying to score political points by already criticizing the authorities, while that not a single case of coronavirus-infection has been reported to date.