Hungary reported a record-breaking day of new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, and the number of patients being treated in the country’s hospitals also reached a new high.
Health authorities announced 9,444 new confirmed cases, more than 1,000 more than the previous record set on Friday. The jump came amid a rapid spread of a coronavirus variant first discovered in the United Kingdom.
The outbreak has put a strain on Hungary’s health care system. Officials reported the hospitalization of 179 more COVID-19 patients, bringing the national total to a record high of 8,897
Hungary has the second-highest COVID-19 vaccination rate in the 27-nation European Union, underpinned by the acquisition of vaccines from Russia and China as well as the EU. The number of people who have received at least one dose of a vaccine climbed to nearly 1.3 million in the country of fewer than 10 million.
Officials say they plan to have all people over age 60 vaccinated by Easter.
As of Saturday, Hungary reported 16,790 virus-related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, giving the country the seventh-worst death rate per 1 million people in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.