Photo: MTI

DK accuses government of rejecting EU vaccines

Hungary set to face ‘hardest two weeks’ of pandemic, Orbán warns

Hungary is set to face its hardest two weeks of the coronavirus pandemic yet, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a video on Facebook on Thursday, encouraging the public to register for a vaccine. Meanwhile the opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) accused the government of intentionally snubbing the European Union's offer of certain vaccines to suit its "anti-EU agenda".

The prime minister said he had met a group of mathematicians on Thursday to discuss epidemiological trends the country could expect over the coming days and weeks.

“I have a whole lot of bad news,” Orbán said. “It appears that we are on the brink of the hardest two weeks of the pandemic yet. The emergence of the new mutant variants of the virus has led, and will continue to lead, to a sharp rise in infections.”

Hospitals will have to withstand as yet unseen levels of pressure, he said, adding that the health-care system will be in need of all of its doctors, nurses and ventilators.

Orbán asked the public to continue to observe the regulations and guidelines issued by the operative board coordinating the response to the pandemic.

“We’re in a race against time,” he said. “If many people register for a vaccine … it will help shorten this difficult period. If few people register, this period of enormous pressure will be longer.”

DK accuses government of rejecting EU vaccines

The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) on Thursday accused the government of intentionally snubbing the European Union’s offer of certain vaccines to suit its “anti-EU agenda”.

DK MEP Klara Dobrev told an online briefing that Hungary was entitled to far more EU vaccines than it is currently receiving, and accused the government of having committed to far less from the EU than the country would otherwise get based on the size of its population.

Hungary’s vaccination rate is currently below that of Romania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, even though these countries only accept vaccines approved by the EU, she added.

Dobrev accused the government of risking the health and lives of Hungarians on the back of its “political games”.

She also underlined that DK was pro-vaccination and she said everyone should get inoculated “with EU-approved vaccines”.

In response, ruling Fidesz called on Hungary’s left-wing parties to stop their “anti-vaccination campaign and lies”. The party said in a statement that DK leader Ferenc Gyurcsany and the entire left wing were hindering anti-epidemic efforts, “spreading fake news … and purposely trying to create uncertainty about vaccines”.

It added that Dobrev had lied about the availability of vaccines, and “contrary to her claim, Hungary has actually tapped all available vaccines”.

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