Two of the Iranian university students isolated in the South Pest Central Hospital are still not prepared to cooperate in compliance with the quarantine rules, the head of the Operational Corps informed the press at a press conference held after the Monday corps meeting in Budapest.

Tibor Lakatos said the university students manifested “unacceptable conduct” during the night and also during the day, and tried to avoid the rules of quarantine. Also at this point, safe isolation is being maintained with the presence of police officers in the Szent László Hospital, he stressed.

In answer to a question, Mr Lakatos said the two Iranian students had failed to cooperate with health care workers and had thrown chairs out of the ward.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has decided that Iranian nationals cannot enter Hungary even with issued, but as yet unused visas, the head of the Operational Corps announced.

Mr Lakatos highlighted that non-compliance with the regulations relating to disease control is a crime, and a lack of cooperation can even result in deportation from the country. Iranians who hold valid visas and are already in Hungary “do not come under any adverse measures” if they observe the laws and do not resist disease control measures, he added.

In this regard, Police Major General Attila Kiss, Director General of the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing said those who do not cooperate with the health care authorities can be deported. After the end of the quarantine period, they are taken into custody where they can be kept for six months – which can be extended by a further period of six months – following which they can be deported.

He stressed that the Iranian citizens had been duly informed about everything, and they had also asked the Iranian Embassy in Budapest to inform their citizens.

Mr Lakatos said the measure whereby no flights from airports originating from North Italy are received at the Budapest and Debrecen airports has taken effect. Regardless of this, they continue to perform health checks; at airports, so far 6,598 persons have been checked, while another 427 on roads.

Calls are being received at the two toll-free numbers maintained in connection with the coronavirus on an ongoing basis; since they were launched, 4,105 calls have been taken. Mr Lakatos drew attention to the fact that these two lines are not for reporting infections; they do not serve as a patient dispatch centre. In the event of suspected infection, the general practitioner or the duty physician must be called, he highlighted.

Mr Lakatos also said the Operational Corps will shortly release its position regarding various events, in particular, those planned for 15 March.

He pointed out that the resources and financial means necessary for the containment of the virus are available.

János Szlávik, head physician of the infectious diseases ward of the South Pest Central Hospital said following the recently updated international protocol, the Hungarian protocol of the coronavirus test will soon change, too, regarding both its clinical and geographical approach.

He said the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) updated the rules of case definition on Sunday, and so they will be changed in Hungary as well.

The head physician said he has information to the effect that in the future it will be possible to have the coronavirus laboratory test carried out in private health care. However, he pointed out, the confirming test that is regarded as official is only carried out in the accredited laboratory of the National Centre for Public Health.

He informed members of the press that there are nine confirmed coronavirus cases in Hungary – five Iranians, one British national and three Hungarians. An elderly man is being treated in intensive care; his condition is life-threatening. However, the others are all well. They have taken action for the transportation of the patient currently being treated in the Kenézy Gyula Hospital in Debrecen to the South Pest Central Hospital.

He said more and more people are being released from quarantine, including the eleven young students and four accompanying adults who had earlier been to Italy, and two health care workers were also released on Monday.

Mr Szlávik stressed that in every instance his colleagues had proceeded pursuant to the relevant international medical protocols.