Chief epidemiologist expects rapid increase in hospitalisations

The progressive rise in the average age of coronavirus patients means that more and more people can be expected to require hospital treatment and intensive care, Hungary's chief epidemiologist said.

Wearing face masks and disinfection remain the cornerstones of slowing the spread of Covid-19, Janos Szlavik of the Budapest South Pest Hospital told public media.

Szlavik pointed out that mask-wearing has been made mandatory at all outdoor events where keeping a safe distance from others is a challenge.

He emphasised the importance of vulnerable groups getting inoculated against the flu, saying it would make it easier for doctors to separate flu and coronavirus patients.

“No one can predict when case numbers will begin to decline,” Szlavik said, adding that “all we can do until then is mount a defence” against the virus.

He said the ongoing trials of Covid-19 treatments remdesivir and favipiravir were expected to conclude in two to three months, after which there would be precise data available on their effectiveness.

Szlavik also said there was a noticeable trend across Europe of people growing tired of the restrictions and having to wear masks. “We must fight this sentiment and explain to people that they have to hold out a little while longer because the vaccine is now almost at an arm’s length.”

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