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Is Hungary following in Sweden’s footsteps?

November 7th, 2020

A popular business analyst thinks Hungary appears to be following the Swedish model, to reach herd immunity in an attempt to shorten the coronavirus crisis.

On Napi.hu, László Domonkos extensively quotes business analyst Viktor Zsiday who denies allegations that PM Orbán is mishandling the pandemic. In an essay posted on his business analytics blog, Zsiday sees the moderate restrictions in place in Hungary as corresponding to ‘a master plan’ which aims at overcoming the health emergency before next summer. Hungary will face elections in the spring of 2022; therefore, the government is determined to relaunch the economy by mid-2021, he explains. The present restrictions and mask use aim to keep the reproduction rate of the virus between 1.3 and 1.4 (one virus carrier infects 1,5 people on average) which means that by getting one-third of the population over the infection, virtual herd immunity is reached. As he sees it, one million Hungarians must have already been infected, and another million will follow by the end of November. Thus, he believes, a high degree of herd immunity can be reached by next spring. Zsiday thinks the overall death toll will amount in the end to 10 thousand, although he doesn’t estimate how much lower it would be under a more severely restrictive regime. The government can embark on this path, he continues, because by now, elderly people have largely withdrawn from social life to minimize the danger of infection, while younger people have much higher chances of surviving Covid-19

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