The coronavirus epidemic affected the whole world – including Hungary and the surrounding Central and Eastern European countries. Now entering the second wave of the epidemic, it is essential to understand new trends connected to the spread of the epidemic and explore its spatial characteristics. Commissioned by on the State Secretariat for National Policy of the Prime Minister’s Office, HETFA Research Institute has been preparing an epidemiological report for Central and Eastern Europe on a weekly basis since the beginning of April.

HETFA experts use a variety of data collected from about 200 NUTS3 (county level) regions in 10 countries to explore the spatial patterns of the spread of the epidemic, present the most affected areas and analyse the underlying causes. In the analyses, a special attention is paid to areas of the Carpathian Basin inhabited by Hungarians.

Following our first update on the weekly reports, now we share the most recent findings of our analyses:

The number of infected people is growing at an unprecedented rate in Hungary and throughout Central and Eastern Europe: 65,000 new cases were registered in the region last week (week of 28 September), bringing the number of confirmed cases to almost half a million. Despite comparisons between countries and regions are hampered by differing registration protocols and testing capacities (several countries in the region have serious problems in this area), the main territorial trends are still visible. In Romania and Ukraine, the epidemic has been spreading almost uncontrollably for months, while the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia have recently erupted, while other countries in the region (Poland, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia) are also on the rise. The capitals are affected the most: Prague, Bucharest, Vienna, Budapest, Ljubljana or Bratislava are all one of the most infected regions in their countries. Concerning the areas inhabited by Hungarians, Transcarpathia and Southern Transylvania are in the worst situation. Overall, the area’s infestation is increasing greatly during the current period, and the second wave is already much more severe than the first was.

The current situation at a glance