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The Municipality of Budapest introduces stricter measures to protect nursing homes

Mayor Gergely Karácsony has ordered a professional health inspection of all nursing homes in Budapest following the first wave of the pandemic.

Following the first wave of the pandemic, Mayor Gergely Karácsony ordered a professional health inspection in all nursing homes in the capital. On the basis of the result, he handed over a 9-point maintenance order to the institutions to help them fully prepare for the second wave of the pandemic over a month ago, which has now been published by the Mayor’s Office. In a Facebook post, the Mayor summarised how the preparation for the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic should be organised.

“The latest figures, data and trends show that we need to repeat what I mentioned in March and April: we need to prepare for the worst, in order to avoid the worst. The second wave of the coronavirus outbreak is almost inevitable, and for many of us the question is whether we can avoid the restrictive measures that are weighing on the economy and that are making life more difficult for all of us.”

Gergely Karácsony noted that it is clear from the experience of the first wave that the protection of the country’s nursing homes is a priority. In Budapest, a team of health inspectors analysed the impact of the first wave, assessed the needs of the nursing homes, sought the opinions and ideas of the heads of the institutions, and set up a test reserve to prepare for the impact of second wave. In accordance with the inspections of the nursing homes, the Mayor issued a 9-point maintenance order, which has now been published. According to the Mayor, the mandate of the document will be continuously implemented, and regular meetings will take place between the Mayor’s Cabinet and the nursing home managers. “The implementation of this instruction does not solve the problems – for example, only a comprehensive government action plan would solve the decade long labour shortage of public sector workers, but at least this action-plan will help prepare the priority institutions for what is yet to come.” said the Mayor.

The main points of the maintenance order issued to the managers of the Budapest-run nursing homes are:

  1. Nursing homes should immediately notify the municipality if they are unable to secure the number of specialists of their staff.
  2. The review of institutional legislation shall be continuous and the rules may be relaxed only with the permission of the maintainer.
  3. Persons showing symptoms of the disease, whether patient or employee, shall be immediately isolated and immediately reported to both the competent public health administration and the maintainer which will impose the necessary restrictions and tests.
  4. Institutions shall assess the number of patients and staff members in order to meet and achieve the isolation requirements.
  5. If necessary, new isolation rooms must be set up and the maintainer needs to be informed immediately of this.
  6. Only persons with negative Coronavirus tests are allowed to return to nursery homes from the hospital, or to work as a staff member.
  7. The number of houserooms available shall be reviewed and if an amendment is necessary their proposal shall be indicated to the Municipality
  8. Nursing homes shall have sufficient protective equipment for at least two weeks.
  9. The maintainer needs to be notified of all official measures relating to their institution.

Detailed instructions published by the responsible authority can be found here in Hungarian.