Students cannot go to school from Monday; ten task forces set up
14. 03. 2020.
As part of the containment of the coronavirus, ten task forces have been set up, and based on the first recommendation of the education task force, from Monday students are not allowed to attend educational institutions, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced in a video message posted on the government’s Facebook account on Friday evening.

The education task force is led by Minister of State for Public Education Zoltán Maruzsa. Based on the recommendation of this task force, from Monday students will not be allowed to attend educational institutions. Mr Orbán said from 16 March a new work procedure will be introduced in education, a digital working arrangement outside the classroom will take effect. Teachers will be required to adopt teaching modes which do not require personal attendance. This arrangement will also necessitate new methodologies. The Minister of State for Public Education will publish methodological recommendations next week.

Pursuant to the latest decision, students are not allowed to attend school. School principals will, however, be required to go into work. Teachers, too, will be required to carry on teaching with the use of digital means, he said.

Students will be able to prepare for their final examinations, Mr Orbán said, adding that there is a good chance that final examinations will be held in the usual manner.

The Prime Minister said if and where necessary, they can also provide for child supervision for children in small groups. He added at the same time that it would be better for children to stay at home.

Mr Orbán said children should not be supervised by their grandparents. He drew attention to the fact that young people are not at risk from the coronavirus infection in general. Their parents and grandparents could, however, find themselves in serious trouble, and even in a life-threatening condition. “Let us take care of our parents, let us take care of our grandparents, let us take care of one another,” the Prime Minister said.

He highlighted that they had ordered the construction of a mobile disease control container hospital, of whic Tamás Tóth will be in charge. The task force responsible for the security of vital companies is led by Defence Minister Tibor Benkő. The task force for international coordination is headed by Minister of State for Communication and Hungary’s International Perception Tamás Menczer, while the communications task force is led by Minister of State for International Communication and Relations Zoltán Kovács.

Gergely Gulyás, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office is in charge of the task force for the special legal order; the financial task force is headed by Minister of Finance Mihály Varga; while the task force responsible for restarting the economy is led by Minister without Portfolio for the Management of National Assets Andrea Bártfai-Mager, the Prime Minister announced, stressing that the economy will shortly come to a halt and will have to be restarted.

A coronavirus research group led by Ferenc Jakab has also been set up; the group will be responsible for medicine and vaccine developments. There is further a border controls task force under the supervision of Chief Commissioner of the Police János Balogh.

In the context of border controls, the Prime Minister announced that in the interest of containing the coronavirus, foreigners arriving from Israel will not be allowed to enter Hungary’s territory.

In justification of the latter decision, the Prime Minister said among newly-diagnosed patients there are individuals who had previously been to Israel.

After Iran, China, South Korea and Italy, Israel has been added to the list of countries from which foreigners arriving in Hungary are denied entry.

Mr Orbán also highlighted that they had taken stock of the efforts necessary to contain the coronavirus. He pointed out that the available laboratory capacity is enough for several thousand samples. 22 million pairs of gloves and 1.2 million surgical face masks are currently available; another 1 million surgical face masks are on the way.

There are 2,000 ventilators and 2,000 anaesthetic machines available, meaning that adequate care is guaranteed even for the event of incidences in the tens of thousands, the Prime Minister stated, adding that they have also taken action for the procurement of further equipment.