The third wave of the coronavirus epidemic is on the rise, and therefore people should decide about vaccination in a carefully considered manner, setting emotions to one side, as their lives could be at risk, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday on Kossuth Radio’s programme ‘Good morning, Hungary’.
“I’m asking everyone to register, to enrol, to go and have themselves vaccinated, and if possible, to accept the vaccine they’re offered at the time,”
he said. Orban also said as many as 120,000 people completed the consultation questionnaire about the restarting of the country in just one day. He stressed that while naturally, the ultimate responsibility for the decisions on the restarting of life lies with the government, those decisions are best in which people in the largest possible numbers are involved.
“If we can break the third wave, we can start reopening the country,”
Orban stated. He also said from among all EU Member States, at present, Hungary has the largest number of vaccines. Regarding these, he repeated that by May in Hungary, 3.5 million more people will have been vaccinated than in other countries of comparable sizes because “we rely not only on vaccine supplies from within the EU which keep faltering, but we also have our own procurement sources”.
He highlighted that Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said already in November that there would be “a race for vaccines” in the world, and he therefore suggested that Hungary should conduct negotiations worldwide in order to have enough despite the emerging shortage of vaccines. This is why they started negotiations with the Russians and the Chinese, he said, observing that he does not really care what others have to say about this because we must always be a step ahead of them. He pointed out that “now, everyone, starting with the Germans” is working on ways to receive the Russian vaccine, and in his opinion, the time will come when they also start working on ways to find access to the Chinese vaccine, “of that we can be sure”.
Whether the curve of vaccinations or that of the third wave will prove to be faster “will decide our fate”. If vaccinations are faster and more people ask to be vaccinated, “we will gain lives,” if, however, the curve of the third wave proves to be stronger, “we will lose lives,” the PM said.
Consultation on the reopening
Hungary has been fighting against the coronavirus for months. The pandemic is not over just yet, and it’s causing all of us plenty of difficulties. With the start of the vaccination campaign, however, we have entered a new phase. There are some who believe that with vaccinations now underway, the lifting of restrictions can begin. Others say we should proceed with caution, as the pandemic is once again on the rise in Europe.
We want to assess your opinion, so please fill in the questionnaire below.
1. According to some, epidemiological restrictive measures can be lifted gradually, step by step. Others believe that these restrictions should only be lifted at the end of the pandemic. What do you think?
Restrictions must be lifted gradually, step by step.
Restrictions must be lifted in one step, at the end of the pandemic.
2. Those who have been vaccinated or have recovered from the disease will receive an immunity passport. There are some who support the idea that people with such passports should be exempted from certain restrictive measures. What do you think about this?
I support it.
I don’t support it.
3. According to some, as soon as the epidemiological situation permits, the 8 p.m. curfew should be one of the first measures eased. Do you agree with this?
4. According to some, as soon as the epidemiological situation permits, and alongside strict safety rules, the reopening of restaurants and hotels should be among the first steps taken. Do you agree with this?
5. According to some, as soon as the epidemiological situation permits, and alongside strict safety rules, the reopening of sports facilities (e.g., swimming pools, gyms, fitness centers) should be one of the first steps taken. Do you agree with this?
6. There are some who believe that attending events, concerts, festivals and sporting events should be permitted for those with immunity passports. Others believe that such events should not be organized or permitted for anyone to attend until the end of the pandemic. What do you think?
Immunity passport holders should be permitted to attend these events.
These events must not be permitted for anyone to attend until the end of the pandemic.
7. Some suggest that until the end of the pandemic, only foreigners who have been vaccinated or hold an immunity passport should be allowed to enter the territory of Hungary. Do you agree with this?
Source: Miniszterelnok.hu, About Hungary
Photo: Viktor Orban/Facebook