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Health

Hungary could run out of COVID-19 hospital beds by mid-December: PM's aide

FILE PHOTO: A healthcare worker works at a COVID-19 testing site as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Budapest, Hungary, October 27, 2020. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary could run out of hospital beds for COVID-19 patients by the middle of next month under the most pessimistic scenario, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff Gergely Gulyas said on Wednesday.

The country has 32,000 hospital beds set aside for patients with the new coronavirus, he said.

Gulyas said the number of people requiring hospital treatment for COVID-19 could exceed 5,000 on Wednesday, adding that further hospital beds could be made available by delaying elective procedures.

Hungary reported 4,219 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, its highest single-day tally so far with new infections topping 4,000 for the first time.

The daily death toll also rose to a record high of 90. The number of patients treated in hospitals rose to 4,871, with 355 people on ventilators.

Hungary closed bars and entertainment venues and imposed a night-time curfew as of midnight on Tuesday to curb a rapid spread of coronavirus infections.

Reporting by Anita Komuves and Gergely Szakacs; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Bernadette Baum

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