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PM predicts tough months ahead for hospitals

October 6th, 2020

As Prime Minister Orbán announces unprecedented wage hikes for physicians and warns that the second wave of the pandemic will be deeper and longer than the first one, a centrist analyst warns that the COVID pandemic could get out of control if the government and the public do not take more severe precautions.

The government has announced an increase in physicians’ wages by 120 per cent in three stages, with the first, 80 percent hike taking place next year. PM Orbán said the government is prepared to open new COVID units in hospitals and redirect medical staff there if the pandemic outgrows the current structures. He didn’t expect a vaccine to be available for another 7 or 8 months, during which time span he warned that the national health service will have a hard time to cope with COVID-19

In Portfolio, Gergely Csiki thinks Hungary is following the dangerous ‘Florida pattern’ whereby the spread of the coronavirus infection among young people reaches vulnerable older generations after 5 weeks. Since the first signs of high infection rates among the young were reported in late August, we must now expect more and more elderly people to get ill. The current testing capacity available nationwide, he writes, is no longer sufficient to measure the real dimensions of the pandemic, and therefore masses of asymptomatic but infected people will unknowingly spread the virus. He thus urges the government to provide the means for much more widespread testing and launch a sweeping campaign to promote precaution, otherwise the authorities will be compelled to order a complete lockdown with all the fatal consequences that would have for the economy.

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