PM Orbán: Hungary's First Battle Against Coronavirus 'Won’

  • 4 May 2020 7:20 AM
  • Hungary Matters
PM Orbán: Hungary's First Battle Against Coronavirus 'Won’
The "first battle" against the novel coronavirus has been won in Hungary, the virus had been contained, and the health-care system had successfully prepared itself to handle the crisis, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in an interview on Friday.

The prime minister noted, however, that the virus had not yet been eliminated in Hungary. “We’ve just prepared to ward off the next attack,” he said, citing expert opinion that a second wave was expected around October-November.

Orbán said rules for protecting the elderly must be upheld in the next phase of restrictions, and special rules would be needed for Budapest and Pest County. Restrictions will be maintained in the heart of the country, but rules will be eased elsewhere, he said.

He added that if the death rate in Budapest fell, the government would not hesitate to allow residents of the capital to resume a normal life. The easing of restrictions will take place gradually and according to a strict timetable, he said, noting that the government is closely following experiences in Austria and the Czech Republic as guidance.

Orbán insisted that new powers handed to the government by parliament did not give it special rights but allowed the cabinet to act swiftly. He said decisions would be made every two weeks during which the effect of changes could be assessed.

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