COVID-19 in Hungary: 285 dead on Tuesday

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The number of new coronavirus cases in Hungary was 3,597 yesterday, increasing the total since last March to 731,675, the official government website said. The death toll rose to 24,265 after the disease claimed the lives of 285, predominantly elderly or chronic, patients.
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The 3,597 new cases can be considered low compared to the peak seen a few weeks ago, but the trend is still rising as lower numbers over Easter are now being phased out of the rolling average. This may be misleading, just as the previous steep falling trend was: the pandemic is actually being pushed back in Hungary, but not at a pace indicated by recent statistics, so the current increase is partly a correction of that. The 2,597 new cases came from 35,000 tests, and the low positivity rate confirms that the outbreak has been contained.

Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus-related deaths remains high and shows no sign of improving, although fatalities always follow changes in pandemic dynamics with a delay.

Pressure on hospitals is still high even as the number of coronavirus patients decreased by 454 over 24 hours. The number of people on ventilators was dropping slower, by just 5 people to 1,204.

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As mentioned above, the number of tests applied in the past 24 hours was 35,000, one in ten of which were positive. This low ratio is somewhat suspicious as although the positivity rate has been clearly dropping in recent days, it now fell 8 percentage points in a single day. It would not be surprising to see higher case numbers and a higher positivity rate again tomorrow.

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Vaccination coverage is now 31.1% in Hungary, so nearly one in three people have received at least one dose of a vaccine. This, of course, does not translate to a like number of immune people as partial immunity takes weeks to develop after the first shot, and the strongest protection is only offered by the second dose.

The 31.1% vaccination coverage is still way too low to allow a substantial easing of restrictions.

International experience shows that vaccination has a barely perceptible effect on the spread of the virus at 40% uptake, and even above that level only very cautious opening measures can be considered safe. Meanwhile, 13.2% of the population has now received both doses.

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Overall, we can say that while data disclosure peculiarities and a long Easter weekend distorted the picture somewhat, the pandemic is receding in general. The rate of this is still impossible to tell, but today’s data are encouraging in this respect. Nevertheless, the pandemic situation in Hungary remains dire, and the further opening of the economy scheduled for next week could easily brek the improving trend.

Cover photo: Getty Images

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