Omicron variant presents 'new challenge' - Orbán

Government

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The Omicron variant of the coronavirus presents a "new challenge", Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a weekly interview on public radio on Friday, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

Speaking on Kossuth Rádió, Orbán said the Omicron variant is "spreading like the wind", but is weaker than the earlier variants of the coronavirus, according to experts.

"On the one hand, it's spreading more quickly, which is bad news, on the other hand, it's not as strong as the earlier variants, which is good news," he said.

Earlier in the week, Hungary's chief medical officer said the Omicron variant now accounts for 87% of new coronavirus infections in Hungary.

Orbán noted that, from February 15, immunity certificates would be valid only for people who have had a COVID booster jab or are not more than six months past their second COVID vaccination.

He also reminded listeners of a vaccine drive underway during the month of January.

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