Budapest, Hungary – The Hungarian Interior Ministry announced that two Iranian students infected with the coronavirus would be expelled from the country.
Hungarian authorities justified the decision by claiming the two 23-year-old students had broken quarantine rules by leaving without permission and with no protecting clothing, and had “acted aggressively” towards the medical staff who had placed them into insolation.
The should both be expelled as soon as their health allows them to travel and will be barred from entering Hungary for a period of three years.
After the first cases of coronavirus virus were confirmed in Hungary – both Iranian students – Hungarian authorities stopped issuing visas to Iranian citizens – one of the most impacted countries with the outbreak outside of China – and adopted a tough rhetoric towards Iranian nationals, warning them of detention and deportation if they didn’t comply with quarantine rules nor cooperate with domestic health authorities.
Since the start of the outbreak, critics have slammed Prime Minister Viktor Orban, known for his aggressive stance on migration, for politicizing the issue. The Hungarian Premier has been accused by rights groups and activists for using the epidemic to advance his own political agenda and linking the spread of the coronavirus with illegal migration.
“We are fighting a two-front war, one front is called migration, and the other one belongs to the coronavirus, there is a logical connection between the two, as both spread with movement”, Orban said last Friday.
“Our experience is that primarily foreigners brought in the disease, and that it is spreading among foreigners”, he further claimed. “It’s no coincidence that the virus first showed up among Iranians”.
So far, Hungary has 39 cases of coronavirus confirmed. The first death, a 75-year-old man, was reported yesterday by local media. A state of national emergency was declared last week, introducing a number of restriction to prevent the spread of the virus.