All quarantined patients in Hungary are virus-free, hospital says

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Laboratory tests confirmed that all nine people quarantined in a Budapest hospital have not contracted the coronavirus, a hospital official said on Tuesday.

The hospital currently has seven Hungarians retrieved from the Wuhan region in China through a joint European Union effort, in addition to a Chinese woman who arrived to Budapest on Monday with high fever and a student who has returned from China.

“Laboratory tests have ruled out the presence of the virus,” János Szlávik, head of the South Buda Hospital’s Hematology and Infectious Diseases Institute said at a press conference on Tuesday.

He added that the nine quarantined persons are kept isolated from both the hospital’s other patients and each other. They are allowed to have visitors under strict protective measures and can even receive items from visitors, but nothing can leave the quarantined area.

Szlávik said the seven who arrived back in Hungary on Sunday will have to spend another twelve days in quarantine while the student will be released in two days, having had shown no symptoms. He did not specify how long the Chinese woman will be kept in quarantine.

He added that the seven Hungarians were flown out of China with a larger group of EU and non-EU citizens who were on the same plane with a Belgian patient who later proved to have been infected with the virus, but he said that all the people on that plane have been isolated from one another.

When they arrived to Budapest, images released by the Defense Ministry showed them leaving the plane in full biological protection suits.

National Police Spokesman Kristóf Gál said that the National Emergency Services are currently deployed at six Hungarian border crossings which have the highest number of incoming Chinese tourists, while at the Budapest Airport, medical checks are being provided by a private contractor.

Additionally, all border guard personnel have been provided with rubber gloves, face masks and hand sanitizers, and have been instructed in how to handle travelers suspected of hosting the infection.

Title image: János Szlávik, head of the South Buda Hospital’s Hematology and Infectious Diseases Institute speaks at a press conference on February 4. (Magyar Hírlap/Róbert Hegedüs) 

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