Hungarian PM Viktor Orban blames British variant for record coronavirus death toll

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After six months in lockdown Hungary has begun to ease its current coronavirus restrictions. However, on the eve of this opening up of the country Hungary recorded the highest cumulative coronavirus death rate per million inhabitants in the world. The nation has even surpassed the hard-hit Czech Republic in deaths from the deadly pathogen.

Scientists and health officials have not concluded on a specific reason as to why Hungary has been so badly hit by the pathogen.

However, Hungarian prime minister Mr Orban, has pointed to the more infectious “British” variant as the main cause of the nation’s woes.

The official number of deaths from coronavirus in Hungary now stands at 27,172 in a population of 9.7 million.

That translates as one in 350 Hungarians having died from coronavirus.

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Now reports have trickled out from Hungary showing exhausted doctors and overwhelmed intensive care wards.

Speaking to The Times, Laszlo Csikos, owner of the Francesco café in Budapest, Csikos’s Francesco café said: “If I was in the parliament, I would have allowed a reopening a long time ago.”

Mr Csikos said his business has lost 75 percent of its revenue during the lockdown.

Mr Ferenc Falus, Hungary’s former chief medical officer, said the nation still has six million people yet to be vaccinated.

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He said: “When you’re lifting rules too quickly and without any scientific arguments, there’s a big risk that the virus will come back.

“And it will come back with redoubled strength.

This is what happened in the Czech Republic or Spain last year.”

Experts in Hungary have said the British variant now accounts for 80-90 percent of new infections.

Now, virus-related hospital admissions are expected to peak in April.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff Gergely Gulyas said Thursday: “The situation is serious.

“However, the system has sufficient capacity to handle the higher numbers.

“There are enough spare beds and ventilators, and also personnel.”

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