Researchers at the national security lab of Hungary’s National Centre for Public Health (NNK) have become the first in the country to successfully isolate the new coronavirus that causes the Covid-19 disease, the chief medical officer said on Tuesday.
The breakthrough will allow scientists to begin developing a vaccine against the virus and to test various therapies, Cecília Müller told a press conference after a meeting of the operative board coordinating the epidemic response.
The team that isolated the virus was led by virologist Zoltán Kiss, she said, adding that it would provide live and non-live samples of the virus to both Hungarian and foreign researchers.
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Müller also said the number of coronavirus patients in Hungary is expected to reach the hundreds over the coming days, adding that the spread of the virus was in line with NNK’s projections.
Featured photo illustration by Tamás Sóki/MTI