Slomó Köves, executive rabbi of the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation (EMIH), and five members of his Budapest congregation, have been found to have mild coronavirus symptoms over the weekend, the congregation announced in a statement.
“Last week, five members of the congregation of the Óbuda [a Budapest district] congregation, including rabbi Slomó Köves, have displayed mild coronavirus symptoms. While several COVID-19 rapid tests last week proved negative, one of the test performed over the weekend was positive,” the statement said. “The leadership of the synagogue has decided to suspend services until all [potentially] affected persons have been tested.”
The statement also said that all other members of the congregation who suspect themselves of being ill should contact their general practitioner for testing and also contact the congregation’s coronavirus operative group if they need any further assistance.
Márta Vargha, water hygiene specialist at the National Public Health Center, said that recent wastewater sampling does not indicate that the number of active coronavirus cases to be on the rise in the country. Hungary began weekly wastewater testing in the second half of June, as international experience showed that the presence of the virus’ genetic material increases in wastewater four to ten days before a corresponding spike in the number of cases.
While the use of face masks in Hungary remains mandatory in indoors public places and public transportation in Hungary, the country has not experienced a secondary spike in coronavirus cases as many of its neighbors have in Serbia, Croatia and Romania in particular.
On July 12, responding to the rising number of cases around it, Hungary has implemented a new set of travel restrictions.
According to the latest data, Hungary has so far had 4,448 confirmed coronavirus cases and 596 casualties, but the number of active cases is now only 523. In contrast, its eastern neighbor, Romania (with double the population), has so far had 45,902 cases and 2,206 casualties and the number of active cases stands at 17,902 with the number of fresh daily cases having had reached a new record of 1,284 as of July 25.
Title image: Slomó Köves, Executive Rabbi of the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation (EMIH). (source: zsido.com)