Hungarian authorities decline to disclose location of new COVID-19 cases

A Hungarian police officer works at the Austrian border checkpoint in Hegyeshalom, northwestern Hungary, 17 March 2020. [EPA-EFE/Csaba Krizsan]

The Hungarian authorities are refusing to make public information about the cities or regions where the new cases of COVID-19 have been registered, making it hard to know where in Hungary the disease is spreading.

The authorities are currently only disclosing the number of new cases and the nationality of persons who recently tested positive for the virus.

As of Tuesday (17 March), the number of coronavirus cases in the country has risen by 11 new registered infections to 50.

Last Thursday (13 March) was the last time the Hungarian authorities shared the age of the diagnosed and details such as where the new patients have been hospitalised. 

Hungary is one of the few countries where regional distribution of cases is not readily available. EURACTIV was able to find updated data on the geographical spread of coronavirus for 21 out of the 27 EU member states.

“We know where the infections are and we are examining them,” Hungary’s chief medical officer Cecília Müller told journalists at the daily press conference on Tuesday (17 March), adding that following the analysis, anonymised data will be made available.

Pressed by journalists as to why at least a regional breakdown of the new infections or the age of those who have fallen ill cannot be published to reassure the public, Müller said: “we don’t want to alarm, but prevent.”

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

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