Fifth coronavirus case confirmed in Hungary

2020.03.07. 11:47

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Hungary rose to five as a 70-year-old Hungarian man tested positive on Saturday, the Hungarian government's coronavirus website informs.

The fifth patient is a severely ill 70-year-old Hungarian man, currently being quarantined and treated at the Central Hospital of Southern Pest. Presumably, he contracted the coronavirus from his son living abroad who visited him in the middle of February. Previously, the son had traveled to Italy and Paris.

The infected man had a number of pre-existing diseases and he was in poor health, the website reports.

As prescribed by the protocol issued by the Chief Medical Officer, the contact investigation of the patient immediately commenced, authorities will question the patient's wife and his son who lives abroad and is currently not in Hungary. His wife is already in quarantine as she is considered a close contact.

The government promised to provide more information later on.

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The coronavirus situation in Hungary

According to the latest update (11:00 AM) of the government coronavirus website,


Hungary announced the first two cases in the country on Wednesday, two Iranian university students studying in Budapest and Gödöllő were infected on their (independent) trips to Iran. The first two patients and their partners are in isolation at the Central Hospital of Southern Pest.

Two more confirmed cases were announced on Thursday, one is a 69-year-old British man living in Debrecen who returned from Milan by plane last Friday, the other is the girlfriend of one of the Iranian students.

On Friday, Hungary suspended issuing Visas to citizens of Iran due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country. Earlier, the government suspended access to the transit zones on the southern border where asylum-seekers could apply for a refugee status.

Neighbouring Serbia also announced their first coronavirus case on Friday, according to Serbian Minister of Health Zlatibor Lončar. The 43-year-old man tested positive on Friday morning after returning to Serbia from a visit to his sister in Budapest, who was exhibiting flu-like symptoms. At the Friday press conference of the Hungarian government's coronavirus task force, Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller commented that the visit happened more than two weeks ago, beyond the known incubation period of the virus, so this case should not be cause for alarm according to her.

Also on Thursday, a group of 15 Japanese tourists were taken from their hotel on Kálvin square in Budapest to the Central Hospital of Southern Pest under suspicion of Covid-19. The tourists were all coughing but otherwise showed no symptoms. As Japanese NHK reports, all their tests returned negative, and they were released from the hospital on Friday night.

On Friday morning, a Dutch man walked away from isolation in the medical centre of Budapest's district XVIII. The man who speaks Hungarian well complained about a headache and high fever, doctors previously called an ambulance to take him in for testing and placed him in an isolation room, but after waiting for the ambulance for at least an hour, he walked out. Doctors informed the authorities about the patient that was thought to have escaped, but the man just showed up at the hospital on his own early in the afternoon and was examined and quarantined.

Authorities were also retracing the steps of a group of infected tourists who spent several days in Budapest at the end of February before testing positive for the virus days later in Prague. So far, it seems that they visited a ruin pub, a crepe shop, a pharmacy, and the Széchenyi Thermal Bath.

The first Hungarian citizen to contract Covid-19 was a man who worked on the cruise ship Diamond Princess was confirmed to have the disease at the end of February, he is still being treated in Japan.

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