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Coronavirus-infected tourists visited Budapest at the end of February

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2020.03.03. 16:07

The two students who tested positive for Covid-19 in the Czech Republic have recently visited Budapest and other cities in the region, Prague's chief medical officer announced on Tuesday. Hungarian authorities are working to retrace their steps, but there are no known cases in Hungary yet.

The US and Ecuadorian women studying in Milan, close to the quarantined areas of Northern Italy travelled first to Vienna on 24 February, from where they went to Budapest before travelling through Brno on 28 February on their way to Prague, so it is likely that they were sightseeing in Budapest on the 28th and the 27th, or even on the 26th. The two women stayed in a hotel in Vienna and rented flats through Airbnb at the other three locations.

The first coronavirus test of the US student returned positive on Sunday, while the infection of the woman from Ecuador was only confirmed by a repeated test. "We already informed Vienna and the Hungarian party about the case," Prague's chief medical officer Zdeňka  Jágrová added. 

Czech authorities have investigated whom the two infected patients have contacted and placed twenty Czech citizens under quarantine. Authorities also ordered a week-long lockdown and disinfection of the Prague flat the two women rented.

Hungary is investigating the case

On Tuesday afternoon, at the daily press conference of the Hungarian government's operative group, the group's leader Tibor Lakatos announced that they received the Czech notification and "started the implementation of the necessary measures," adding that

there are still no known cases of Covid-19 in Hungary.

Hungarian Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller spoke only about one confirmed patient who visited Budapest, saying that the National Public Health Service is currently retracing the steps of that confirmed patient, investigating where she had been and with whom she had contact. Müller said that it is not certain that the woman exhibited symptoms during her stay in Budapest, and if she did not, that would significantly lower the probability that she infected other people, adding "nobody should worry that they caught the disease just because they might have passed her by on the street," they are looking for so-called "close contacts."

If you show symptoms, call your doctor

On the previous day, Müller said that in accordance with the updated coronavirus protocol,

THOSE WHO SUSPECT THEY HAVE COVID-19 SHOULD not GO TO THEir GENERAL PRACTITIONER under any circumstances.

Instead, they should call their doctor over the phone if they exhibit symptoms of the disease and have recently returned from an infected area. The doctor will proceed to ask the patient a series of questions to determine the likelihood of infection and will inform emergency services if they suspect a possible case. An ambulance will then take the patient to the closest contagious unit, and if the throat swab lab test returns positive, the patient will be transferred to the Central Hospital of Southern Pest for isolation and treatment.

Cover: Index / Bődey János

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