The two Iranian students who were tested positive with the new coronavirus infection on Wednesday have mild symptoms and no fever, János Szlávik, head of the infectology department of St. László Hospital, told public broadcaster M1. The cases are isolated; the two young men do not know each other, Szlávik said, noting that one of them had returned from Iran to carry on with his studies on Feb. 22, while the other arrived on Feb. 28. Hospital staff are now working to find the people they have contacted since then, Szlávik said, adding that their partners have also been isolated and are being tested. Szlávik noted that recovery from the Covid-19 disease caused by coronavirus usually takes 10-14 days. A group of 11 Hungarian students, two teachers and two drivers, quarantined on their return from Italy could be released from hospital on Sunday, while a dentist and their assistant may leave the next day, Szlávik said. All of them are well and probably not infected, he added.
Meanwhile, Budapest’s Semmelweis University has said it is postponing an international clinical conference originally scheduled to be held next week because of the new virus outbreak. In a Facebook entry, the medical university said it decided to postpone the Semmelweis 250 Clinical Conference because many of the foreign speakers invited to the event have been forced to cancel their trips to Hungary due to travel restrictions imposed in their countries over the new coronavirus outbreak. The university said it will organise the two-day conference at a later date. One of the two Iranian students diagnosed with Covid-19 on Wednesday is enrolled at Semmelweis University.
Opposition Jobbik is calling on the government to consider banning all in-door events with more than 1,000 participants in order to fight the spread of the new coronavirus. The organisers of outdoor events should also analyse the risks involved and consider ways to prevent “conditions that enhance the risk of infection”, Jobbik deputy leader László György Lukács told a press conference.
“We want everyone to keep as safe as possible but at the same time, we want to be able to properly commemorate the greatest national holiday, March 15,” Lukács said. “On the cusp of the coronavirus epidemic”, resources must be focused on prevention, protection and disseminating information instead of government communications, he added. Lukács pledged Jobbik’s support for the government on the issue, provided “[the government] works in a credible and precise manner and keeps Hungarians duly informed.”
Budapest will not cancel major events due to the new coronavirus outbreak until the operative board coordinating the response makes such a request, the city’s deputy Mayor Kata Tüttő said, noting the city’s operative board, which held a meeting on Thursday, asked companies operating in the city to review their action plans in the case of an epidemic and to inform their employees regularly. The Budapest operative board does not have the competency to tackle health-care issues or take measures regarding the new virus, she said, adding that it is responsible for maintaining the continuity of public services in the city.