Coronavirus in Hungary: Three more Iranian students test positive, case number rises to twelve
Three of the already quarantined Iranian students of Semmelweis University have tested positive for the coronavirus in the Central Hospital of Southern Pest, the government coronavirus website informs.
There are now 12 confirmed coronavirus cases in Hungary.
All three students were quarantined for observation as a result of the contact investigation of the Iranian student who was first diagnosed with the disease in Hungary. Authorities are now beginning to trace their contacts as well.
The coronavirus situation in Hungary
According to the latest update (9:05 AM) of the government coronavirus website,
IN HUNGARY, 12 PEOPLE ARE INFECTED, 67 ARE IN QUARANTINE, AND 362 SAMPLES WERE TAKEN FOR TESTING.
Confirmed cases in Hungary until now:
- 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.
- 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.
- A fifth case was announced on Saturday morning, a 70-year-old Hungarian man in poor health tested positive. The sixth patient is the wife of the British patient diagnosed on Thursday.
- The seventh person to test positive was another Iranian student who attended a birthday party with one of the first two confirmed coronavirus patients.
- Two more cases were announced on Monday morning - a former Iranian student of Semmelweis University and the wife of the 70-year-old Hungarian man diagnosed on Saturday.
- The latest official information is that all patients are in satisfactory condition except for the 70-year-old Hungarian man who is being treated at the ICU.
Hospitals in Hungary no longer accept visitors as of Sunday, schools are advised to postpone class trips, doctors and medical staff are requested not to travel abroad. On Monday, the government has allocated more than 8 billion Forints (~€24 million) for the coronavirus response.
On Friday, Hungary suspended issuing Visas to citizens of Iran due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country, on Monday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to deny entry into the country for Iranian citizens with valid visas as well - this does not affect those who are already in Hungary.
Earlier, the government suspended access to the transit zones on the southern border where asylum-seekers could apply for refugee status.
On Saturday, the Hungarian government canceled its main event on the March 15th national holiday. The City of Budapest and the opposition parties soon followed suit. As announced on Monday, the Ministry of Human Capacities is preparing a recommendation about larger events in Hungary.
Quarantined foreign students complain that they are held together with 2-5 other, potentially infected people and they want to self-isolate in their homes. Two Iranian students first resisted going into quarantine, but police convinced them to take the ambulance to the DPC - authorities warn that disobeying quarantine orders is a crime. On Sunday, the government coronavirus task force announced that police presence was requested at the DPC for fears that Iranian students "might hurt doctors or nurses," and the Chief Medical Officer said that this is the standard procedure for suspected patients all over the world. On Monday, the coronavirus task force informed that they will maintain the police presence as the quarantined students are still non-cooperative.
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.
(Cover: The Szent László block of the Central Hospital of Southern Pest. Photo: Index)
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