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Feb 10, 2020

Police arrest two suspects for spreading fake news about coronavirus

Interior Minister Sándor Pintér said preventive measures implemented against the coronavirus by Hungary have so far proven effective.

Police have charged two people for disseminating fake news online about people dropping dead in Budapest’s Keleti railway station from the coronavirus.

According to MTI, the two suspects, a man and a woman, have been charged with endangering the public.

A number of Hungarian-language websites have falsely claimed that several people in Hungary have been infected by coronavirus. The cybercrime unit of the National Bureau of Investigation (NNI) has found that dozens of Facebook pages are linked to the same network of websites that share fake scare stories.

The contents of the stories are designed as clickbait linked to advertising, and they have reached hundreds of thousands of users. NNI detectives raided various locations and seized technology equipment on Friday.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Sándor Pintér said preventive measures implemented against the coronavirus by Hungary have so far proven effective.

The minister told parliament’s welfare committee on Friday that the measures include preparing an action plan and setting up an “operative board” to coordinate the actions of state authorities.

Pintér said preventive measures focus in the first place on the country’s borders and the Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport. Hungary has sufficient supplies of protective gear such as face masks and gloves on stock.