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Coronavirus in Hungary: Case number jumps to 50 as virus is entering into community transmission

2020.03.17. 08:51

Eleven more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Hungary, the government's coronavirus website reported on Tuesday, making the total number of cases 50.

One patient is from Kazakhstan and all others are Hungarian. The website does not provide more information on the individual cases but reminds that Chief Medical Officer Cecília Müller has said on Monday that the virus is entering into community transmission, meaning that it is no longer possible to tie new patients to known cases.

On Monday, the second patient recovered in Hungary, one of the Iranian students tested negative.

The coronavirus situation in Hungary

 Hungary reported the first fatality on Sunday.

Hungary closed borders to all foreigners except for residence permit-holding spouses and parents of Hungarian citizens on Monday after declaring a state of emergency last WednesdayAs of Monday morning, universities and schools are closed, education will continue remotely. All events are banned, cafes, restaurants, non-essential stores have to close at 3:00PM each day (pharmacies, drug stores, grocery stores, tobacco stores, and gas stations can remain open longer). Hospitals in Hungary no longer accept visitors since last Sunday, doctors and medical staff are requested not to travel abroad. Last Monday, the government has allocated more than 8 billion Forints (~€24 million) for the coronavirus response. 

During his interview on public radio on Friday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said "foreigners dragged this disease into the country," and previously, he told European leaders during a teleconference that "there is an obvious link between the coronavirus and illegal immigration." Earlier, the government suspended access to the transit zones on the southern border where asylum-seekers could apply for refugee status.

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 and was treated in Japan. He reportedly recovered, testing negative last Thursday.

Click here to find all our English coverage about the coronavirus situation in Hungary.

(Cover image: Zsolt Szigetváry / MTI)

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