Hungary’s daily coronavirus infections on Friday surpassed 10,000, hitting a new record at 10,759, the government said on its COVID-19 information website.
The daily death toll also hit a new record at 213 in the central European country of 10 million, while vaccinations continued and reached nearly 1.5 million people as the government races to contain the pandemic and reopen the economy.
Hungary can start the first stage of easing coronavirus restrictions once a further one million citizens have been vaccinated, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday.
“There is a good chance (we) will have a (restrictions) free summer,” Orban told public radio, adding that hospitals were managing to cope with a record wave of infections.
Orban said the daily tally of coronavirus-related deaths stood at a record 213, with more than 10,000 people in hospital.
Orban aims to get as many people immunised as quickly as possible to reopen and jump-start the economy, which shrank by 5.1% last year.
Around 1.5 million Hungarians have been inoculated so far, and he said curbs could start to be eased once that number rose to 2.5 million – equivalent to a quarter of the population.
Orban reiterated his backing for Hungary’s use of Chinese and Russian vaccines, which it was the first European Union country to authorise and deploy.
Main Photo: A patient holds the hands of her relative in safe conditions sitting behind a plastic sheet in the so-called Chamber of Our Heart room, which has two separate entrances to avoid the risk of contracting the new coronavirus at the Gottsegen Gyorgy Hungarian Institute of Cardiology in Budapest, Hungary. EPA-EFE/MARTON MONUS HUNGARY OUT