Second coronavirus wave likely to hit Hungary in fall: medical university

Several factors combine to create a growing risk for Hungary

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Jonatán Pasitka
via: Hetek

While Hungary is both better prepared for a second coronavirus wave and it is expected to be less severe than the first one, it will probably come in late autumn, the rector of the Budapest Semmelweis University, Béla Merkely, told news portal Hetek.

Merkely said Hungary could see the second wave in September to October, when a number of risk factors could combine.

“From September, several factors could arise, such as the beginning of the school year, people returning from holidays and colder weather leading people to spend more time spent indoors, which could all contribute to a jump in new cases, So, a second wave is likely in the autumn,” he said.

“But based on the experiences learned during the first wave, necessary measures could be implemented faster and with more experience, leading to a lower casualty rate.”

Merkely said that the large jump in case numbers seen in the countries neighboring Hungary was but a second spike in the first wave of the pandemic.

“In my opinion, it is still the first wave ravaging in neighboring countries, meaning that the number of confirmed cases has grown there because in many places they eased community rules before the numbers would have justified it,” Merkely said. “I consider that a second wave is when the number of cases shows a sustained growth following the first wave.”

He was mainly referring to the Ukraine, Romania and Serbia where both the number of total cases per population and the number of new cases are significantly above those in Hungary. According to the latest data, Ukraine so far had 80,949 cases, Romania 61,768 and Serbia 28,099 compared with 4,696 in Hungary.

Ukraine just registered a fresh record of 1,489 new daily cases on Aug. 8 while Romania had a new record of 1,378 cases on Aug. 7.

On Sunday, State Minister for Public Education Zoltán Matuzsa said that the ministry is planning regular class attendances in the new school year, which in Hungary begins on Sept. 1, while “taking into account the experiences learned in digital education”.

In Hungary, the number of new cases has peaked at 210 on April 10 and has been steadily declining until mid-June, when it picked up slightly again, but since then the highest number of new cases was a manageable 43 on Aug. 9.

Title image: Béla Merkely, Rector of the Budapest Semmelweis University. (MTI/Szilárd Koszticsák)


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