picture of Alexandra Szentkirályi and Gergely Gulyás

At Thursday’s Government Information session, 444 asked Gergely Gulyás if government statisticians had predicted in October that there would be an average of 130 coronavirus casualties per day by mid-November, and if the government had taken appropriate action with this knowledge.

The minister replied that the government had worked on many very different analyses, but what ultimately occurred was “even more pessimistic than the most pessimistic scenario.”

Gulyás has repeated many times the government’s belief that vaccination is the most effective defense against Covid. However, the current level of vaccination against the delta variant is low, and even according to Gulyás it should be raised to 90%. For example, there are as many people on ventilators now as there were last year, but the number of deaths is 30% higher.

When 444 asked if other measures should have been taken in the face of such alarming data, Gulyás first said that, “We are constantly taking action,” but then added that the government must simultaneously keep the country operational, increase vaccinations, and provide protection wherever they can. In the minister’s opinion, this is what the government has done.

According to 444, experts pointed out at the beginning of the fourth wave that the current vaccination rate would be too low to curb the epidemic. Moreover, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences made recommendations in August and October, and the Hungarian Medical Association gave several warnings, such as before the mass events on the October 23 holiday and at the end of October.

[444]

By Steven N.

Steven is the editor-in-chief of Hungarian Politics. He has been following the political scene in Hungary and the Central European region more or less since 1994.