Hungary’s COVID-19 deaths, cases hit new highs amid wave

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) – Hungary’s daily number of COVID-19 deaths and new officially recorded cases on Wednesday climbed to highs not seen since a devastating pandemic wave last spring.

Government figures showed 178 daily deaths and 10,265 new cases in the country of less than 10 million. The latest figure was approaching March’s pandemic record highs, while the daily death toll was the highest since May 1.

The figures reflected a worsening pandemic situation in the central European country, which had the highest per capita COVID-19 death rate in the world in the spring.

Hungary, an early vaccine leader, has struggled in recent months to overcome vaccine hesitancy. About 40% of the total population has still not received a shot. It is nearly 9 percentage points behind the average vaccination rate in the rest of the 27 countries of the European Union.

State hospitals have reserved 20% of the beds in the country for patients with severe cases of COVID-19, in accordance with a decree from the Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources that came into effect on Monday.

On Wednesday, 5,852 patients were treated in hospitals for COVID-19.

In October, the government allowed private employers to require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, demanding that all public employees, including teachers, be given a shot.

On Monday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans not to travel to Hungary.

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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