- 23 Sep 2020 8:38 AM
The goal remains to prevent the communal spread of the coronavirus, Cecília Müller said.
She added that they are monitoring the spread of the virus in smaller communities such as in educational institutions in order to prevent the spread locally.
She pointed out that young people between the ages of 20 and 29 continue to account for the vast majority of confirmed cases, but the epidemic is now also affecting generations below and above them. Therefore, they continue to ask them to observe the stringent rules of conduct, and to wear face masks everywhere it is necessary or required.
Ms. Müller said in the last 24 hours the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen by 633 and 8 persons suffering from chronic diseases have died. The youngest of the deceased was aged 51, while the eldest patient was 94. All of them had underlying illnesses or suffered from multiple chronic diseases, typically cardiovascular diseases or metabolic disorders.
By Tuesday, the number of fatalities had risen to 694; at the same time, 4,559 patients have already recovered.
At present, there are 14,246 registered active patients. She highlighted that not all of them are ill, some of them are asymptomatic. The number of samples collected since the beginning of the epidemic now exceeds 600,000.
The Chief Medical Officer said on Monday different news reports were released regarding the new protocol. She pointed out that a number of measures also featured in the protocol issued in June.
This is a summary which covers all issues for the health care system and all the authorities concerned, and contains all the information and knowledge gathered since the beginning of the epidemic. It includes, for instance, the protocol for general practitioners and the protocol for patient care. The only meaningful change is that the duration of compulsory home quarantine has been reduced to 10 days, she said.
In answer to a question, Ms. Müller stressed that according to the new protocol, in every suspected case general practitioners may ask for a laboratory test. The Chief Medical Officer herself asked general practitioners to do so in every case suspected of coronavirus infection.
She said in every instance the testing of persons suspected of having contracted coronavirus infection is free of charge. The percentage of samples taken against the payment of a fee is between 3 and 30 per cent.
For instance, at the National Centre for Publish Health, the percentage of tests typically requested by persons returning from abroad for the purpose of release from compulsory home quarantine was around 3 per cent.
She said when travelling in passenger cars, the elderly should sit on the back seat, wearing face masks. In the case of asymptomatic patients, the wearing of a face mask provides sufficient protection for the passengers of the vehicle, she said, highlighting that patients displaying symptoms should not under any circumstances give others a lift in passenger cars.
Several questions related to infections among students. Ms. Müller said upon contact tracing, the relevant measures extend to the close contacts of students confirmed with coronavirus infection. The family members of students required to stay at home as contact persons may continue with their lives.
If a student ordered to retire to compulsory home quarantine as a contact does not display symptoms during the period of observation, upon the passage of 10 days he or she may return to school. If, however, they display symptoms, they qualify as suspicious cases and the general practitioner must be alerted according to the relevant protocol, she said.
The Chief Medical Officer suggested that for the mandatory body temperature checks institutions should try to use multiple entrances for letting children in in order to avoid queues.
It is reasonable to use multiple thermometers and to involve multiple members of staff, Ms. Müller said, highlighting that body temperature checks are swift, they only take two seconds.
It is important that parents should not decide about their children’s state of health; only healthy children as confirmed by a medical examination should return to schools.
A question regarding patient care was about whether elderly physicians and residents would again be asked to join health care. Ms. Müller said they are doing everything they can to provide care for all patients. At present, care is being provided for coronavirus patients in two designated hospitals; however, if warranted by the number of patients, they will extend the number of institutions involved.
In answer to another question, she pointed out that there are sufficient PCR test kits in the country, and the required reagents are also available.
Ms. Müller also highlighted that new scientific articles are being released almost daily about the disease brought on by coronavirus infection and the pathogen causing it.
Now we also know, for instance, that it does not cause an upper and lower respiratory illness similar to the flu virus, but it is a virus that extends to the entire body. It is even capable of creating inflammation on the surface of veins. We likewise know that the progression of the diseases ranges within wide limits: in many cases it is asymptomatic, while there are also very serious cases, she said.
The Chief Medical Officer confirmed that we now have more knowledge and experience. Treatment and therapy, too, have changed a great deal since the spring. At the same time, she drew attention to the fact that no one can tell what the progression of the disease will be like when a person becomes infected.
“It is therefore safest not to catch coronavirus infection,” the Chief Medical Officer said, asking everyone to observe all the rules to this end.
In answer to questions, Ms. Müller also mentioned that several studies have confirmed that vitamin D can significantly contribute to fighting infection. She highlighted that the Hungarian population’s vitamin D intake is in default lower than would be desirable.
Therefore, at this time, at the end of the summer, everyone is strongly recommended to pay attention to their vitamin D intake. In general, we need 2,000 units daily. However, some people need more, others less. Therefore, Ms. Müller asked everyone to consult their physicians.