The board of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Cultural Association (KMKSZ) said a decision by Ukrainian health authorities to classify Hungary as a “red” country in terms of the severity of the coronavirus risk is “professionally unfounded and ill-considered”.
In a statement, KMKSZ said that in addition to Hungary, Ukraine has also classified Slovakia and Poland as “red”, noting that all three countries are regarded by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other prestigious health organizations as having more favorable epidemiological statistics than Ukraine.
According to MTI, the decision to move Hungary into the high-risk category will put hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens at a disadvantage. KMKSZ added that it could also harm relations between the two countries’ border regions and cause significant economic losses for Ukraine.
KMKSZ called on the Ukrainian authorities to revisit their decision and consider internationally accepted factors when gauging the risk of coronavirus infection in the various countries. “We consider the adherence to the principle of reciprocity important even in this transitional period,” KMKSZ said, noting that Hungary and Ukraine have agreed to allow Hungarian and Ukrainian citizens living within a 30km radius of the border to commute to each other’s countries without having to undergo quarantine.
The Ukrainian government updated its classification of several countries on August 1, moving Hungary, among others, from the “green” to the “red” category. Moving forward Ukraine will assign a “green” classification only to countries that have not experienced a rise of over 30 percent in the number of registered coronavirus cases over a two-week period and ones where the number of infections per 100,000 people is not higher than in Ukraine.