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Hungary to maintain COVID-19 restrictions until Jan 11 -PM

by Reuters
Monday, 7 December 2020 13:08 GMT

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BUDAPEST, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Hungary will maintain restrictions, including a 1900 GMT curfew, to curb the spread of coronavirus infections until at least Jan. 11, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Monday.

Orban also said in a Facebook video that New Year's Eve celebrations will not be held this year.

Hungary imposed a partial lockdown, including a closure of secondary schools, universities and restaurants, on Nov. 11 as COVID-19 cases and deaths surged to their highest levels since the start of the pandemic.

On Monday Hungary reported 3,870 new cases and 116 deaths, bringing their total number to 5,984. Nearly 8,000 people are being treated in hospitals for COVID-19, of whom 674 patients are on ventilators, straining the local healthcare system.

"The solution is the vaccine, which is now within sight," Orban said. "We are working to ensure that Hungarians are among the first to get a vaccine."

Orban's Human Resources Minister has said some 3,000 to 5,000 Hungarians could participate in clinical trials of Russia's COVID-19 vaccine in a rare move.

Hungary has also secured over 12 million doses of vaccines from western pharmaceuticals companies and is in talks with China and Israel about potential vaccine shipments. (Reporting by Budapest bureau; Editing by Toby Chopra and Chizu Nomiyama)

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