Hungary thanks China for swift coronavirus gear assistance

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Hungary is deeply thankful for China’s swift delivery of protective gear and medical equipment needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told Duan Jielong, China’s ambassador to Hungary, after the two met in Budapest.

“Last week, when with your assistance I could speak on the phone with Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, he offered us tens of thousands of masks, protective clothing and eyewear,” Szijjártó said in a short video posted on Facebook. “In the past few days, several airplanes arrived from China carrying tens of thousands of tonnes of equipment that will help our efforts and in the coming days and weeks we expect several dozen planeloads of several hundred tons of equipment.”

On his part, the Chinese ambassador thanked Hungary for being the first to offer assistance to China when the outbreak appeared there, which was an indication of the two countries’ friendship.

Hungary is struggling to ramp up production of face masks that have been in short supply recently. The country wants to ensure sufficient stocks when the pandemic passes from the current stage of group infections to that of mass infections, which Hungarian healthcare officials and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán say is only a matter of time.

The official national coronavirus information site showed that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 226 at the time of writing from 187 on Monday and the number of casualties is now 10, with 86 people in quarantine.

Neighboring Romania, with 794 cases and 12 deaths has just instituted a nationwide curfew, which Hungarian health officials say is not yet necessary in their country.

Title image: Chinese ambassador to Budapest Duan Jielong and Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó meet in the foreign ministry in Budapest. (source: Péter Szijjártó’s Facebook page)

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