Two people in Hungary have been infected with coronavirus, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Wednesday.
“We have our first coronavirus case, in fact there are already two patients who have had to be taken to a medical facility due to coronavirus infection,” Orbán said in a video posted on Facebook after a meeting of the operative board overseeing Hungary’s response to the new virus.
The patients, both Iranian students, are at present symptom-free, but have been taken to Budapest’s St. László Hospital, the prime minister said.
From now on, the operative board will meet every day at noon before briefing the press on the latest updates concerning the virus, he said.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the board concluded that Hungary had enough doctors and nurses along with the necessary tools and the legislative framework needed to defend against the virus, the prime minister added.
Nine Hungarians will be released from quarantine between Friday and next Thursday out of 12 held around the world due to the suspicion that they may be infected by the new coronavirus, the foreign minister told a press conference.
The Hungarians in quarantine in Italy, Spain, Germany and Japan continue to be in good health,
Péter Szijjártó said on Wednesday. Two Hungarians in China do not plan to leave their current place of residence and the Hungarian who tested positive on a boat near Japan will stay in quarantine until fully recovered, he added.
The Hungarian authorities have contacted the two students who recently passed through Budapest and who since tested positive in Prague, Szijjártó said. Their route in Budapest has been established and the people they were in touch with identified. The operative board overseeing Hungary’s response to the new virus has taken relevant measures, he added.
Meanwhile, János Szlávik, the head of the National Institute of Hematology and Infectology at South Pest Central Hospital, told a press conference that both students were in good health and had no fever.
He added that
two people living with the students had also been placed in isolation at the hospital for observation.
Szlávik said the authorities were investigating how the patients had contracted the virus and what places they had visited in Hungary. The patients will remain in isolation until they make a full recovery, he added.
In response to a question, Szlávik said
both of the students had recently visited Iran to celebrate the Iranian New Year with their families.
One of them had specifically asked to be tested, while the other was tested after showing light symptoms, he added.
Tibor Lakatos, head of the operative board, told the same press conference that the board would continue to keep the public updated about the virus on its Facebook page, adding that it was ready to answer any questions via its dedicated information hotline or e-mail.
Budapest’s Semmelweis University later said in a statement that one of the patients in question is a pharmacy student at the university. The university’s rector has decided that the 16 students enrolled in the institution’s English-language pharmacy programme will not be allowed to attend any classes “for the required period of time”, the statement said.
During that time, they will be able to pursue their studies online, it added.