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Hungary to resell surplus ventilators

Hungary will resell ventilators it doesnʼt need after stocking up on the devices early on in the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade state secretary Tamás Menczer said on public television late Wednesday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

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Menczer told news channel M1 that there are parties in Africa and Asia interested in buying surplus ventilators from Hungary.

He said experts had estimated earlier that 8,500 ventilators would be required in Hungary if a massive wave of infections were to hit the country. Preparing for the worst-case scenario, the body coordinating Hungaryʼs response to the coronavirus crisis decided to procure 10,000 of the devices, although orders for more than 16,000 were placed to ensure those 10,000 arrived, he added.

The ventilators Hungary ordered cost more than HUF 300 billion, "but money doesnʼt matter when it comes to human lives", Menczer said.

He noted that Hungaryʼs Celitron has started production of a ventilator, dubbed the Panther 5, at its base on the outskirts of Budapest and would deliver 1,000 of the devices to Hungarian hospitals by the end of summer.

The latest data on coronavirus infections in Hungary from the official government website koronavirus.gov.hu shows thirteen people with COVID-19 are on ventilators at present.