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Coronavirus in Hungary: Number of victims rises to three

AJO 0465
2020.03.20. 11:37

Two elderly patients died of COVID-19 in Hungary, the government's coronavirus website reported on Friday, bringing the total number of victims to three.

The victims were 79 and 68-year-old Hungarian men. Last Sunday, a 75-year-old man was the first person in Hungary to die because of the novel coronavirus.

Earlier on Friday, twelve new cases and five new recoveries were announced, six patients were in severe condition.

The coronavirus situation in Hungary

Hungary closed borders to all foreigners except for permanent residence permit-holding EEA citizens on Monday after declaring a state of emergency last Wednesday. This Wednesday, the Prime Minister announced an economic relief program which includes suspending all loan payments in the country until the end of the year. As 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 3:00 PM 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, medical staff, and public officials require special permits 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: Orsi AJpek / Index)

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