With the restrictions on movement introduced from Saturday, the containment effort has reached a higher level, the Chief Medical Officer stated at the Saturday online press conference of the Operational Group responsible for the containment of the coronavirus infection.

Cecília Müller said slowing down the spread of the virus continues to remain the clear goal, and this requires the cooperation of the entire population.

The Chief Medical Officer repeatedly asked the elderly to stay at home because not meeting others primarily serves to protect them. In this regard, she stressed that the time slot between 9.00 a.m. and 12.00 p.m. designated for shopping for the elderly is “a last resort” if there is no other help at their disposal. The elderly should be helped primarily by family members, and secondarily by local governments, she added.

She indicated that the restrictions on movement did not mean the “easing” of regulations; on the contrary, they are further necessary measures to slow down the epidemic.

Regarding working from home, she said personal hygiene is also essential at home: frequent washing of the hands, cleaning, disinfection of objects used with daily regularity, with special regard to computer keyboards. Additionally, people should also pay attention to healthy eating and should exercise three times a week.

Ms. Müller said individual sports activities are permitted; however, family gatherings should be avoided. In answer to a question, she pointed out that those commuting to Austria are also subjected to health screening at the border every time they enter the country, and anyone displaying symptoms is required to retire to home quarantine.

Regarding the fact that, according to press reports, independent Member of Parliament Ákos Hadházy asked the University of Pécs for data, Ms. Müller said all hospitals are required to supply data online which is recorded by the National Health Insurance Fund Manager. “All other data supply is unnecessary, and could at times also be harmful,” she added.

In the context of the issue of virus tests, the expert said many different types are in use; the laboratory test Hungary is using is the most accurate. There are many developments under way, some of them are promising, she added.

In answer to another question, she highlighted that pregnancy was not a special risk factor in the present epidemic. At the same time, she drew attention to the fact that pregnancy in itself changes the individual’s immune capacity and the functioning of the immune system, meaning that it can make pregnant women more susceptible to infections, including the coronavirus infection. She asked them, too, to avoid social interactions, to observe the rules of personal hygiene, and to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly.

Ms. Müller said she was “sad to hear” that patients suffering from certain types of cancer are not receiving their treatments. She highlighted that life-saving interventions must be carried out, along with operations, in the absence of which the patient’s health would be permanently impaired.

She also said there are health care workers who have been diagnosed with coronavirus infection.

In Hungary by 28 March the number of confirmed coronavirus patients has risen to 343, and the epidemic has claimed its 11th victim, an elderly patient suffering from chronic underlying diseases.