July 30, 2020 / 9:41 AM / 15 days ago

Hungary will maintain measures to contain coronavirus, PM's aide says

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary’s government will not relax measures to contain the coronavirus after cases increased in several neighbouring countries, the prime minister’s chief of staff said on Thursday.

Gergely Gulyas said continued vigilance was needed to ensure that the school year can start as normal in September to prevent any further harm to economic activity.

As of Thursday, Hungary had reported 4,484 coronavirus cases, with 596 deaths and 3,346 recoveries.

“In Hungary, the situation is stagnating. However, if we look at the data of neighbouring countries, the situation has deteriorated markedly in most nearby and other European countries,” Gulyas told a press briefing.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government has urged Hungarians not to take holidays abroad. Those returning from countries with higher infection rates need to self-quarantine for 14 days unless they produce two recent negative virus tests.

“The government is taking no risks, as our goal is to prevent a second wave,” Gulyas said. “For the Hungarian economy, it is vital that schools can start as normal from September 1, and we are definitely planning for that today.”

Reporting by Gergely Szakacs and Anita Komuves; editing by Alison Williams, Larry King

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