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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Can Hungary Outrun the Pandemic from the Middle East?

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Something drastic needs to be done about the pandemic Coronavirus, a form of viral haemorrhagic fever sweeping through central Europe, but that may not be the case here in Hungary, where a national soccer competition was scheduled to start in 10 days.

The World Health Organization, which has called the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus a “world health emergency,” expects the virus to spread in western Europe by the end of 2015.

But while the Austrian and Serbian football teams have postponed matches, Hungarian media reported that the Hungarian Football Association will not relocate the Euro 2016 qualifier at Budapest’s National Stadium because of the possible risks of disease.

Hungary said last week that there had been a preliminary outbreak at a hotel in Walecszeg, a village about 45 miles northwest of Budapest, in which 14 people had contracted the disease. But the Hungary Football Association said there was not yet enough information to move the match, which Hungary won 6-0 two months ago.

Anton Pasing, a spokesman for the Hungarian Football Association, said the risk of Coronavirus in the capital was at “zero.” In the north of the country, close to the border with Croatia, the risk is higher.

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