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Chief medical officer: we cannot sit back, the pandemic isn't over yet

Although the first phase of the coronavirus epidemic in Hungary has ended, we should not sit back, because the pathogen is still present and the pandemic is still on, Chief Medical Officer Cecilia Muller told Hungary's public media.

The chief medical officer emphasized that due to Hungary's successful pandemic management, the number of coronavirus-related infections and deaths in the country was relatively low compared to other states. The virus, of course, has not vanished, as a number of coronavirus patients are still being treated in Hungarian hospitals, she added.

"We must remain extremely alert and follow the changes, especially in terms of the reopening of facilities and the easing of pandemic measures," she stressed. Therefore, the task of the so-called epidemiological unit would be to respond immediately if necessary, she added. The unit would include public health professionals, law enforcement agencies, the National Healthcare Service Center, the ambulance services, as well as those working in the hospital command system, and soldiers deployed to carry out decontamination and disinfection jobs, she said.

Although Cecilia Muller expressed hope that the unit would not be needed, she also recalled that there was no vaccine or targeted therapy to cure everyone with the disease. In this situation, the "classic" epidemiological measures will be applied, she said.

Responding to a question, she said: Hungary has managed to develop a "respectable" and disciplined culture in terms of people's compliance with epidemiological rules, which has contributed to the country's successful emergency response. She said she feels that a cooperation has developed between the general population and those in charge of tackling the epidemic, for which she is grateful. "This was the only way for us, together, to deliver this performance," Hungary's chief medical officer stressed.

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