BUDAPEST, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- The cumulative COVID-19 cases in Hungary have surpassed 1 million, official data showed on Monday.
In the past 72 hours (Hungarian authorities only give daily figures on weekdays), 27,209 new cases were recorded, taking the national tally to 1,025,697, according to figures from the government's coronavirus information website.
During the period, the country's death toll rose by 392 to 33,172. Currently, 6,451 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, including 649 on ventilators, while 847,992 have recovered.
The fourth wave of the pandemic has hit Hungary hard. Miklos Rusvai, a professor and virologist at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, told Xinhua that "the reason behind these bad numbers is threefold."
"First, the fourth wave of the pandemic in Hungary is caused by the so-called Delta-variant of the virus, which is much more contagious," Rusvai explained.
"The second reason is that restrictive measures, such as a mask mandate indoors, have been introduced too late, and finally, several mass events have been permitted recently," the professor added.
However, Rusvai does not count on a full lockdown paralyzing the economy like under the previous waves.
"I expect more restrictions for those who are not immunized, such as interdiction of entry in restaurants or film theaters, and some restrictions on the number of people present in closed areas, but not much else," he said.
Rusvai is also convinced that students would not go back to digital education, and home office work would be enabled, but not forced on employees.
"It is also important to understand that the jab is not stopping the infections, it is needed to avoid serious symptoms, the hospital, and death," he concluded.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban also came to the same conclusion in his most recent interview on public radio MR1 last Friday.
"We are not past the peak (of the fourth wave). Therefore, the numbers will rise, and everyone can catch the virus, but not all with the same consequences," Orban underlined.
Anyone who is not vaccinated is a danger not only to themselves, but also to the rest of us, he added.
"Experts are unanimous in saying that 4 to 6 months after the second vaccination, the protective power of the vaccine weakens. Therefore, a third vaccination is justified," he explained.
To date, 6,024,568 people in Hungary have received at least one vaccine shot and 5,794,499 have had both, while some 1,834,000 have got their booster shot, according to official data. Enditem