In the interest of preventing the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Viktor Orban asked people not to interact with others when ill, displaying symptoms such as a cough and a temperature.
On Friday, on Kossuth Radio’s programme ‘Good morning, Hungary,’ the prime minister said no fight of any kind can be successful without voluntary participation.
The quality of a country’s containment efforts is fundamentally determined not by the government’s activities, but more by the country’s level of intelligence, he added.
He highlighted that the mass infections that occurred in Pápa and Mezőkövesd were caused by the fact that patients with a cough and a temperature went to places where there were many people.
Orban underlined that the Operational Group is working continuously, and soon a special unit wearing gear that reminds one of science-fiction movies – which will be responsible for isolation in the case of the development of epicentres – will also appear on the scene.
The prime minister said the national consultation is especially important because with its aid they can implement measures which the people support. He said so far more than 1.4 million people have sent back the questionnaires.
This is a very high number in light of the summer holidays, due to which the government has extended the deadline for the submission of the consultation questionnaires to 31 August, he added.
The prime minister asked everyone to act responsibly when going on holiday. He said the government set a good example when they cancelled this year’s 20 August fireworks display which could have been held based on the legal rules in effect; however, it would have posed undue risks.
Orban asked those going abroad to only visit neighbouring countries, from among which Slovakia, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia qualify as safe.
According to the prime minister, the race that could be observed at various airports in Asia in the spring for health care supplies was not a credit to human civilisation, and he therefore hopes that the world will turn its attention to the presumed second wave of the pandemic in a more organised manner.
In Hungary, the government will take the steps in the reform and adjustment of health care which could provide a better chance for a near-perfect containment effort, he added, underlining that he asked the minister responsible for health care to prepare a very accurate expert opinion on the vaccine that will be first released.
Orban recalled that Hungary had already submitted an order for 5 million vaccines to the European Union.
The prime minister said every morning he first studies the numbers related to the epidemic, as part of which his number one priority is to check the number of fatalities, next the development of infections, including the development of possible epicentres, to be followed thirdly by the latest unemployment data where he focuses on the number of people actually in employment.
He highlighted that at present more people have jobs than in January, and compared with the pre-epidemic period there is a deficit of some 30,000 to 35,000 in the number of people in employment.
This shows that the government is making good progress as at one point this number was well above 100,000, he added. According to the prime minister, “unless the sky falls in and lands on us,” there is a good chance that this difference might evaporate in the autumn, and as many people will have jobs as before the emergence of the virus. He observed that he would not be satisfied with the pre-virus employment level; he would like to go beyond that.
According to Orban, in 2010 they managed to win the elections with the pledge of creating one million new jobs, and in 8 to 9 years they did create more than 800,000 jobs which he regards as a world record.
Hungary has every reason to be proud of this, as well as of the fact that ever more people believe that it is worth working, and building on work, rather than on benefits, he argued, adding that “we went bankrupt during the left-wing governments because they encouraged, they promoted” a concept that was based on benefits.
He underlined that every immigrant who wants to enter the territory of Hungary illegally and uncontrolled poses a biological and health risk to Hungary which we must prevent at any cost.
By connecting together migration and the coronavirus epidemic, we must not create the impression that every migrant is a biological bomb. However, some actually are, and the problem is that there is no way of knowing which ones they are, he said.
Therefore, we must look upon every illegal entrant as a potential source of infection, he stated.
He stressed that this is an overly severe statement “for human rights activists” whom he referred to as “liberal whingers,” but in his view, the Hungarian people must follow the logic of self-defence.
Orban said he asked the interior minister to ensure that police officers and soldiers take firm action – as they have done to date – and prevent every illegal border-crossing attempt because migrants now also pose a public health risk.
He highlighted that the government regards Hungarian pop and rock music as a part of our national culture, and therefore it is important to rescue those who work in that industry.
This is an ants’ nest; if the government makes the wrong move, despite all the grants made available everyone will be unsatisfied, the prime minister said, pointing out that therefore the sector should be helped in such a way that “people from their world” should make the decisions on the distribution of grants.
He said the government cannot go on leave; however, in the interest of maintaining the quality of work, every member of the cabinet, including himself, must take a few days off.