PM Orbán: Coronavirus Likely To Hit Hungary

  • 2 Mar 2020 7:29 AM
  • Hungary Matters
PM Orbán: Coronavirus Likely To Hit Hungary
The COVID-19 virus is likely to reach Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in an interview aired on public Kossuth Rádió.

The Hungarian government is preparing to combat the virus even though there are no confirmed cases in the country as yet, he said.

Hungary has the equipment ready to identify the virus and epidemiologists of international reputation.

There is a 24-hour on-call system in place as well as screening protocols at border crossings, with a special focus on airports, he said. Orbán called on Hungarians to cooperate and refrain from travelling to areas hit by the virus.

“We are on the eve of a pandemic,” he warned. He warned that, although it may be true that more die of the flu than of a COVID-19 infection, “we know influenza … and can protect ourselves”. People’s “panic reactions” are therefore “not entirely groundless, we are facing an unknown calamity,” he said. All important information is going to be made public immediately, he added.

Meanwhile, Cecília Müller, the chief medical officer, said that only patients with both the typical symptoms of a coronavirus infection and a travel history to countries affected by the disease will be considered as suspicious of having contracted COVID-19.

On Thursday, Budapest’s international Liszt Ferenc Airport announced it had started screening all Iranian passengers for the new coronavirus.

There are no direct flights between Hungary and Iran, the airport operator said, adding that Iranians have so far been screened only if they arrived on flights from China, northern Italy and South Korea.

According to the company, since January 31, 3,366 passengers and 236 crew members have been tested, but only one Chinese passenger had a high temperature, and further tests did not indicate the presence of COVID-19.

MTI Photo: Kovács Tamás

  • How does this content make you feel?

XpatLoop Media Partner

Hungary Matters

Launched in January 2014, this newsletter published on week days covers 'everything you need to know about what’s going on in Hungary and beyond', according to its publisher the state media agency MTI.

Explore More Reports

  • Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Decorates Orbán

    Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Decorates Orbán

    • 6 Sep 2022 6:14 AM

    Prime Minister Viktor Orbán received Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Porfirije in Budapest on Monday, who decorated the PM with the golden Saint Sava Order, Orbán’s press chief told MTI.

  • Hungarian Opinion: Weeklies Look Back on the PM’s Dallas Address

    Hungarian Opinion: Weeklies Look Back on the PM’s Dallas Address

    • 14 Aug 2022 9:03 AM

    Opposition-leaning analysts believe that the Prime Minister did a grave disservice to his country by taking sides with former president Donald Trump and his supporters in his address to the CPAC meeting. Pro-government commentators, on the other hand, take the event as proof that Prime Minister Orbán has become an important international actor.

  • Hungarian Opinion: PM Orbán’s CPAC Address

    Hungarian Opinion: PM Orbán’s CPAC Address

    • 9 Aug 2022 9:19 AM

    In their first snap analyses, a conservative lawyer and a liberal pundit agree that PM Orbán’s keynote address was went down well with the Dallas CPAC audience.