Fully 182 Covid patients, generally elderly and suffering from an underlying illness, have died over the past 24 hours, while 6,635 more virus cases have been officially registered, koronavirus.gov.hu said on Thursday.
The total number of cases since the first outbreak in the country has risen to 231,844, while the death toll now stands at 5,324. Fully 67,033 people have made a recovery. Active infections number 159,487, while there are 7,693 hospitalised patients, 663 on ventilators. Fully 50,430 people are in official home quarantine, while the number of tests carried out has risen to 1,876,274.
Hungary last week carried out the fifth highest number of Covid tests per million people within the European Union average, after the government embarked on the targeted testing of essential workers, Gergely Gulyás, the prime minister’s chief of staff, said. The launch of comprehensive testing in care homes, health institutions and schools means that case numbers are now more precise, Gulyás told an online press briefing. He noted that rapid tests were now available at pharmacies, adding, however, that tests conducted in this manner were not included in the official statistics. Hungary ranks 12th in the EU in terms of registered Covid-19 cases, Gulyás said. He added that despite Hungary reporting record fatalities almost every day, the country’s death rate stands at 526 per million people compared with the EU average of 613. He warned, however, that most forecasts suggest that the number of new infections and deaths will peak in December.
Meanwhile, Zsolt Halmosi, the chief hospital commander, told parliament’s defence and law enforcement committee that 93 of Hungary’s hospitals are being overseen by hospital commanders appointed by the government. The government kept the hospital command system in place after its special powers related to the coronavirus pandemic were rescinded by parliament in the spring, Halmosi said. Whereas in the spring there were 109 hospital commanders assigned to 108 institutions, currently there are 94 commanders overseeing 93 hospitals, he said. Of them, 48 are being managed by the police, 17 by the disaster management authority and 29 by the Hungarian Armed Forces, he added. In addition, there are 19 social institutions being overseen by military or law enforcement officers, the chief commander said. The main task of the commanders is to monitor and protect supplies and equipment needed for the protection efforts, and to ensure epidemiological regulations are observed, Halmosi said. They inform the authorities if supplies fall below the amount determined by the operative body, he said. They also monitor expansions of the institutions, he said.