By the time the coronavirus epidemic will peak in Hungary around May 3, the government will already have drafted a recovery plan, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Monday in an interview with Catholic station Mária Rádió.
“There is no guarantee that the epidemic can be kept under control, so the question is what the country must be prepared for,” Orbán said in the interview. “This is a Christian scenario, meaning hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”
He said that by the time the number of infections peak around May 3 as expected, the country will be well-prepared, even for a case when the spread of the disease cannot be kept under control.
“We must evaluate that, should that happen, how many patients we will have, how many hospital beds, intensive care stations and respirators will be needed,” Orbán said. “We must draft a battle plan on how to achieve this. This is what takes up my time these days.”
He said that taking into account that “no one can be wise on their own”, he was consulting with a wide range of experts on the epidemic, its duration and the recovery afterwards. He said his own position was a moderate one and expects that a full recovery of the economy could take up to a year.
“I see the [economic] decline smaller than most and a recovery that will be slower than most expect,” he said. “By this time next year, we will be able to speak about an economy whose performance is where it was two months ago.”
He said that while the recovery plan was being drafted, it was too early to talk about it.
“I will be able to speak about it around May 3 to May 4 at the earliest, but I hope that by that time I can present the country with a calm, composed and credible plan.”
According to the latest official data, Hungary, with a population of 9.9 million had 2,098 confirmed coronavirus cases, 213 casualties and 11,172 persons in mandatory home quarantine.
Title image: Tamás Szabó (L), President of Mária Rádió greets Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in front the studio on April 20, 2020. (MTI/Zoltán Fischer)