Photo: MTI

Government official reveals survey questions on reopening

Chief medical officer: Experts studying Sinopharm vaccine

Hungary's National Public Health Authority (NNK) is examining China's Sinopharm vaccine, 550,000 doses of which were delivered to the country on Tuesday, the chief medical officer said.

Cecilia Muller told a press conference of the operative board responsible for handling the coronavirus epidemic that experts have also received the vaccine’s documentation and will soon issue guidelines on its use and information for patients.

In Hungary, 348,927 people have been inoculated so far and 124,824 have also received their second jab, Muller noted.

Vaccine recipients have so far reported only mild side effects from the jabs, she said.

Meanwhile, Muller said “the epidemic is not loosening its grip”, with the number of active infections at 77,250 in the past 24 hours. Traces of the virus in waste water, a marker of the spread of the epidemic, has grown in several cities, including Szeged, Szekesfehervar, Szolnok and Zalaegerszeg, she added.

Muller said health experts were also studying the virus’s various mutations. Laboratory tests have so far identified 193 cases of the UK variant of the virus in Hungary, she said, adding that mutations originating from South Africa and Brazil have not yet been detected.

Though the UK variant does not appear to produce more severe symptoms than the most common form of the virus, it is able to spread faster, she noted.

In response to a question, Muller said that if someone contracts the virus between receiving their two shots, the second jab can only be administered after the individual has recovered.

She attributed the low number of flu cases registered this year to the public’s adherence to mask wearing and social distancing rules.

Government official reveals survey questions on reopening

A government official revealed the topics of the National Consultation survey on conditions for reopening the economy after the coronavirus epidemic. In the survey launching in the coming days, the government is seeking opinions on whether the country should be reopened gradually or in one fell swoop once the epidemic has subsided, Csaba Domotor, a state secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office, said on Facebook.

Opinion will also be sought on whether people with immunity certificates should enjoy exemption from certain restrictions and whether foreigners should only be allowed into the country if they can show proof of inoculation or an immunity passport.

The survey also asks about the curfew currently in force in Hungary between 8pm and 5am, and the opening of restaurants, hotels and sports venues, Domotor said. Although the latter depends heavily on the epidemiological situation, the government wants to know whether the public supports reopening while observing safety regulations, he said.

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