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Operational Corps recommends declaring state of emergency

The Operational Corps recommends to the government the introduction of a state of national crisis and emergency with a view to preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus infection, Head of the Prime Ministerʼs Office Gergely Gulyás announced on Wednesday in Budapest, government website kormany.hu reports.

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Explaining the recommendation, he told public service media that the level of containment must be elevated.

Gulyás said the government will also have to decide regarding the recommendation whether, in agreement with Austria, they will close the borders to those coming from Italy.

According to him, Hungarian nationals would be allowed in, but they would have to undergo mandatory quarantine.

He also said that said the Operational Corps, an ad hoc body of government officials and experts coordinating Hungaryʼs response to the virus, also recommends to the government to ban indoor events with an audience of more than a 100.

The introduction of a state of emergency allows, for instance, the imposition of home quarantine, and provides for the availability of the means and equipment necessary for the containment of the virus, he added.

Gulyás stressed that they will do everything they can to avoid "the group incidence of the disease in Hungary". He recalled that no state of national crisis had been introduced in recent years; however, during floods, it was imposed in multiple regions of the country.

The government has begun to discuss the recommendations related to the coronavirus at its meeting starting at 9 a.m today.

According to the Hungarian governmentʼs official coronavirus tracker, there are 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hungary at the time of writing. A total of 69 people are currently in quarantine.