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Coronavirus: As of Now, Hungary Not Affected

Péter Cseresnyés 2020.01.24.

More and more airports around the world are taking preventative safety measures against the rapidly spreading coronavirus in China, but for now, Hungarian authorities don’t think these actions are necessary at Budapest Airport (Liszt Ferenc International). Also, at a press conference, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó emphasized there have been no reports of Hungarians affected by the coronavirus.

Any official action about the epidemic can only be ordered by the state health authority ÁNTSZ or the Office of the Chief Medical Officer Budapest Airport Inc., said the director of the airfield, after being questioned by weekly Magyar Hang’s news portal. This has not happened yet.

There have been no reports of Hungarians affected by the coronavirus, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Friday, according to MTI. WHO information shows that there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Europe so far, so no special measures are needed, he said.

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Despite this, some measures have been taken and embassies and consulate generals around the world are closely monitoring developments, regularly consulting with health authorities, he said.

If the virus is reported anywhere and it poses a threat to Hungarian citizens, a warning will be issued, Szijjártó said.

The Foreign Minister asked Hungarians planning to visit Hubei province in China to delay their journey and those traveling to other Chinese cities to consult the consulate’s website at https://konzuliszolgalat.kormany.hu/ and register for consular protection.

Public health centre says coronavirus epidemic unlikely in Hungary

The likelihood of a coronavirus epidemic in Hungary is low and there have been no reports of any Hungarians affected by the virus, the National Public Health Centre (NNK) said on Friday.

In a statement, the NNK said it was monitoring the epidemic in China closely and will take immediate action if necessary.

The NNK said it sources its information on the virus from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), MTI reports.

Virus history

The illness was first reported in late December 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China, and has been rapidly spreading. The epidemic is caused by an unknown variant of the coronavirus called nCoV-2019.

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The virus crossed China’s borders in recent days and reached Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Japan, Macao, Hong Kong, and the United States. Three European airports have direct flights to Wuhan, from major cities such as London, Rome, and Paris.

Meanwhile, some reports say the coronavirus might have already reached Europe as well. Five people in the UK are being treated with common symptoms of the infection. Four of the patients are being examined in Scotland and one in Northern Ireland.

Despite growing concerns, the World Health Organization did not declare an international public health emergency after its emergency committee panel concluded on Thursday.

“Make no mistake, this is an emergency in China,” WHO’s director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “But it has not yet become a global health emergency. It may yet become one,” he added.

Featured photo via Pixabay/qimono