Hungary PM says too early to talk about lifting COVID-19 restrictions

Hungary cannot lift restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus until it can carry out a mass inoculation of the people, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told state radio on Friday. Orban said the best approach was to authorise the use of several vaccines as competition would force manufacturers to speed up shipments.

Reuters | Updated: 22-01-2021 12:57 IST | Created: 22-01-2021 12:51 IST
Hungary PM says too early to talk about lifting COVID-19 restrictions
Representative image Image Credit: Flickr

Hungary cannot lift restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus until it can carry out a mass inoculation of the people, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told state radio on Friday.

Orban said the best approach was to authorise the use of several vaccines as competition would force manufacturers to speed up shipments. "We don't need explanations, we need vaccines," Orban said, adding that he hoped Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, who is in Moscow for talks on Friday, can secure a deal to buy Russia's Sputnik V vaccine.

Hungary's drug regulator has given initial approval for the use of Britain's AstraZeneca and Russia's Sputnik V vaccines against the coronavirus. Hungary would be the first European Union member to receive the Sputnik V shot, which the EU's medicines regulator has yet to green-light, underlining Budapest's rush to lift coronavirus lockdown measures in order to boost the economy.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has also not approved the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University in Britain but a decision is expected on Jan. 29. Hungary is also in talks with China's Sinopharm to buy its coronavirus vaccine.

Orban said it was too early to talk about lifting restrictions. Since Nov. 11, all secondary schools have been closed in Hungary, as have hotels and restaurants except for takeaway meals, a 1900 GMT curfew has been in place, and gatherings have been banned.

He said once healthcare workers, elderly people, and those working in defence efforts against the pandemic have been inoculated, then a discussion can start about returning to normality.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Addressing conflict-related sexual violence at long last

... ...

Why unequal access to coronavirus vaccines is a threat to us all

... ...

India’s love affair with fossil fuels: the path to sustainable development?

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Man wielding knife arrested outside Marseille Jewish school

Police in the French city of Marseille detained a man Friday who was wielding a knife outside a Jewish school and kosher market. Surveillance of Jewish sites in the city has been increased while they investigate his motives, according to lo...

Humbling if fans put me in same bracket as Mr Bachchan and Kishore Kumar: Gavaskar on another '50'

Amitabh Bachchan was captivating the audience with Zanjeer and Deewar while Kishore Kumar was belting out iconic chartbusters during those heady days of the 70s.And what was Sunil Gavaskar doing He was carrying a young nations hopes on his ...

Australia asks EU to review its AstraZeneca vaccine shipment block, Japan wary

Australia has asked the European Commission to review its decision to block a shipment of AstraZenecas COVID-19 vaccine and Japan is investigating the matter, as countries importing EU-made shots fear a potential impact on supplies.The EU e...

EU warns against proposed reforms to Hong Kong's electoral system

The European Union said on Friday proposed reforms to Hong Kongs electoral system were negative and break commitments made to protect the former British colonys semi-autonomous status by tightening Chinas increasingly authoritarian grip.Suc...

Give Feedback