Hungary’s COVID deaths hit an all-time record

Andras Szukup, a Roma activist carries food donation at a slum during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Miskolc, Hungary

The number of COVID-related deaths in Hungary rose to an all-time high on Friday, prompting the government to tighten oversight over compliance with regulations to stem the spread of infections.

Hungarian health authorities reported that 65 patients died over the past 24 hours, while the number of confirmed new cases jumped to 3,286 from 2,194 on Thursday.

The government has not announced new restrictive measures despite the steep rise in infections. Still, Prime Minister Viktor Orban stressed Friday that authorities would hand out fines to everyone failing to wear a mask where required.

“I do not believe in multiplying the rules, but in enforcing existing ones,” Orban said in a radio interview.

Hungary’s chief medical officer announced Thursday that wearing masks will be mandatory in restaurants and bars except during consumption. Police will be authorized to close establishments that do not enforce the regulations.

The central European nation has recorded 71,413 confirmed infections since the pandemic, including 1,699 deaths.

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