COVID-19 in Hungary: 1,645 new cases on Monday

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Hungarian authorities confirmed just 1,645 new coronavirus (COVID-19) infections on Monday, an unusually low number, although the number of tests was less than 13,000 due to the weekend effect, data published on the official government website show. The number of new cases was barely more than half of the 2,837 last Tuesday, and the number of people in hospital and on ventilators both decreased, so the pandemic may finally be on the retreat in Hungary.
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Tuesday’s new case numbers should always be handled with care as lower testing during the weekend (13,000 as opposed to the usual 30,000 to 40,000 a day) typically brings fewer positive results. Nevertheless, the pandemic trend continues to appear to be heading downward: the number of new cases was 2,837 last Tuesday, and this 42% week-on-week decrease helped suppress the seven-day rolling average to below 4,000.

It is inherent in the dynamics of pandemic statistics that the number of fatalities begins to fall later, which is why we have yet to see a steep plunge on this curve. Nevertheless, recent days brought the seven-day rolling average to below 250.

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Unfortunately, Monday’s 199 new coronavirus fatalities likely played a role in the decrease of coronavirus patients in hospital by 48 to 8,062 and those on ventilators by 72 to 980. As for the latter, the figure has dipped below 1,000 for the first time since mid-March, indicating that the load on hospitals is decreasing.

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As mentioned above, authorities applied 12,952 coronavirus tests in Hungary in the past 24 hours with 1,645 positive results, for a positivity rate of 11.7%. This is one of the lowest rates in recent weeks and has helped bring the seven-day average down to 14.8%.

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The number of people who got their first shot of coronavirus vaccine was 50,000, bringing the total to 3,317,052, and 9,300 people got their second jab, for a total of 1.4 million. This translates to 33% and 14% of the population, respectively.

Speaking last week, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán projected that Hungary would reach 3.5 million vaccinated citizens by this Wednesday or Thursday. This would require vaccinating 183,000 more people in just two days, but this is not impossible as there was a single day just after Easter when 104,000 people got their shots. Hungary will receive additional vaccine shipments today (including 100,000 second doses of the Sputnik V vaccine), which should help increase the vaccination rate from the 50,000 to 70,000 seen in recent weeks. If Hungary manages to reach 3.5 million vaccinations by Thursday evening, the terraces of restaurants will be allowed to open the next day according to the government’s earlier promise. As daily vaccination figures only become available at the end of the day, this would take publishing a decree in that evening’s Official Gazette, although it is questionable if most businesses would be able to react quickly enough to open on Friday already. Nevertheless, there is a good chance we will be able to sit on restaurant terraces as early as this weekend, weather permitting.

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Rather unusually, the daily coronavirus report also reveals that

the number of people who have registered to be vaccinated is more than 4.326 million, and 69% of them have already received at least one dose.

As the relevant number was 4.28 mn yesterday and 4.219 mn the day before that, this means more than 100,000 people registered in just two days. “Anyone who has registered should expect the phone call any day now,” the official government website said.

Cover photo: MTVA/László Róka

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