Covid19 coronavirus epidemic in Hungary
October 28, 2021
The first registered case of the Covid19 coronavirus epidemic in Hungary in 2020 was announced on March 4 by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán as the head of the Operational Staff Responsible for Protection against the Coronavirus Epidemic, and the first deceased patient was reported on March 15. On March 18, Cecília Müller, a national chief medical officer and epidemiologist, provided information that the infectious virus could be present anywhere in Hungary. The epidemic has so far broken into the country in three waves. During the first wave, which began in March, the number of active cases increased until the beginning of May, exceeding 2000, and then began to decline steadily. This decline lasted until the second half of July, but since then the number has been slow at first and then started to rise rapidly from August, with the onset of the second wave. In the second wave, far more patients were identified, but this time a higher proportion of young people for whom the disease was less dangerous, so the mortality rate in the second wave was much lower than in the first. The second wave began to weaken in December, but when it had not yet completely disappeared, in mid-February 2021, the number of cases began to rise again due to the appearance of a British mutant much more contagious than the original virus. In this third wave, all previous records were broken by the number of people cared for in the hospital. In preparation for Hungary's involvement, the government established an operational tribunal on 31 January 2020. After the outbreak of the epidemic, on March 11, a national emergency was declared, with which a special legal order came into force in Hungary: a period different from peace and the general rules of state operation. As in most countries of the world, measures restricting the daily lives of people have been introduced in Hungary, which were only gradually lifted as the first wave of the epidemic subsided. The economy (as in the rest of the world) has declined significantly, with tens of thousands losing their jobs, albeit many, only for a short time. Sports life has also come to a complete halt for months. In the second wave, when health care was already better prepared for the epidemic, less stringent protection measures were introduced, among other things, to keep the economy running. However, the number of people suffering from coronavirus infection increased again from November, so epidemiological tightening had to be reintroduced due to the situation, although the extent of the restrictions did not reach the stringency of the protection measures ordered in the spring. However, the third wave was much more severe, so a stricter closure began again in early March 2021, which was gradually alleviated as the number of people vaccinated increased over the coming months. The first vaccine against Covid19 became available in the European Union by the end of December, so on December 26, at the same time as the other EU member states, the vaccines were started in Hungary. Vaccination was free and voluntary. In February, Russian and Chinese vaccines were introduced for the first time in Hungary in the EU, thanks to which, after a short time, the population vaccination rate became one of the highest in Europe.