“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade knew of eight Hungarian citizens who have until now been in the Chinese province of Hubei, which has been affected by the coronavirus epidemic, seven of whom indicated that they would like to return home ahead of time, and they arrived in Budapest yesterday evening”, the Ministry’s Minister of State for Information and the International Representation of Hungary said on Hungarian M1 current affairs television on Monday morning.

Tamás Menczer said the Ministry had been in discussion with four European countries with relation to transporting the Hungarians home: Portugal, Germany, Great Britain and France. It was ultimately decided that the seven Hungarians would be returning home with the assistance of the latter country, and the plane landed in France on Sunday afternoon. In reply to a question, the Minister of State also said that it had been decided to join the French evacuation, because they expected a larger state to receive the required permits from the Chinese authorities more rapidly. Later on Sunday, an aeroplane belonging to the Hungarian Defence Force flew the Hungarian passengers home to Hungary. Mr. Menczer expressed his thanks to the French Foreign Minister and to the Chinese authorities for their cooperation.

He also mentioned that the opposition parties have been talking “nonsense” about the issue without any accountability or sense of responsibility, while the Hungarian government is striving to help and to protect the security of the Hungarian people both at home and abroad. “One would think that there exists a kind of national minimum, and then it always transpires that there doesn’t, whether with regard to migration, or to a virus and epidemic”, he said. “The opposition also doesn’t support the government when the subject is the health and safety of Hungarian people, ‘this is what we have to live with’, but the government will continue to do everything possible for the Hungarian people even without the opposition”, the Minister of State added.

Speaking on Kossuth Radio’s “Good Morning, Hungary!” show, Mr. Menczer said the government is not aware of the fact that the virus is present in Hungary, nor of any Hungarian citizens around the world who have been infected by the virus.