Prime Minister Viktor Orban said he expects Hungary to get over its coronavirus crisis next spring, when it should have access to two or three vaccines. Talks with Russia and China on vaccine shipment are underway.
Hungary is likely to be able to “declare victory over the pandemic” from April, Orban said, as Budapest continues negotiations with Beijing and Moscow about coronavirus vaccines. Hungary could be in a position to have two or three different vaccines, he added.
The first shipment of vaccines may arrive in late December or early January, Orban told state radio on Friday. To slow the spread of infections, the key now is to obey the existing restrictions, he said, insisting that “masks must be worn.” Starting next week, those violating rules on wearing masks would face harsh penalties, the premier said, warning that, if necessary, restaurants and shops will be closed.
Nevertheless, the government does not want to impose a lockdown similar to the one that was in place in spring. Large-scale events have so far not been banned and schools are operating normally. However, restaurants and entertainment venues must close at 11pm.
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Hungarian authorities want to protect the economy during the epidemic, but the number of infections is rising. The country registered a record 3,286 rise in daily new coronavirus infections on Friday, bringing its total count to 71,413.
The number of patients in hospitals rose to 3,753 from 3,197, it was reported Thursday, while the death toll rose to 1,699, government data show. While 17,953 people have made a recovery, the number of active infections currently stands at 51,761.
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