Top Hungarian epidemiologist calls for ending Covid measures

Chief infectologist János Szlávik. (MTI/Lajos Sóos)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

Hungary should move towards ending Covid-19 restrictions due to the number of declining patient numbers in hospitals and the protection vaccination offers the majority of the population, said János Szlávik, chief of infectious diseases at the South Pest Central Hospital, Hungary’s designated central Covid-19 treatment facility.

Szlávik said that obviously three shots are best against the Omicron variant, but one vaccine shot already offers protection.

The specialist said that the number of patients cared for in the hospital is slowly declining. This, he says, is natural, as it has been in the previous waves. After hundreds of millions of illnesses, there are plenty of people left who notice some sort of post-Covid symptom in themselves after the acute symptoms go away, but he noted that “long-Covid” also goes away for the vast majority of patients. What doctors observed with SARS was that the longest people suffered from post-Covid like symptoms was two years but that these type of symptoms usually resolved after a few months, Dr. Szlávik explained.

The chief physician explained that the different variants cause similar post-Covid symptoms. The good news is that vaccinations also reduce the chances of developing post-Covid symptoms, he stressed. He stated that he believed that the coronavirus epidemics would recede now for some time.

He added he wasn’t sure the epidemic would return in the fall as it had before, as a lot of people had been vaccinated or had already contracted the disease. All this, he says, is due to herd immunity. Furthermore, he thinks that if an organism has already encountered the infection, it will be easier for it to get through the disease. The biggest problem is the unvaccinated, he said.

According to Szlávik, the spread of the coronavirus is not related to the weather. He stressed that there are countries where it is constantly hot and yet the number of illnesses is very high. In regards epidemiological measures, he said while speaking on Hungary’s TV2 program that “these measures should already be waived. It is not a bad thing that some countries are abolishing virtually everything.”

He revealed that there is data in Hungary on the number of vaccinations and the number of people who went through the disease. It is possible that the day will soon come when the restrictions — even the use of masks in public — will be lifted in Hungary as well, he suggested.

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