Circular III.

2020, March 6 - 08:30
We wish to inform you that an Operative Coordinating Body was established at the University of Debrecen on March 5, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff and Employees of UD,

Hereby, we wish to inform you that an Operative Coordinating Body was established at the University of Debrecen on March 5, 2020, in relation to the current outbreak of coronavirus disease. The members of this operative coordinating body are: 

  • Dr. Zoltán Szilvássy, Rector
  • Dr. Zoltán Bács, Chancellor
  • Dr. József Mészáros, Head of Administration
  • Dr. Ervin Berényi, Chairman of Clinical Center
  • Dr. Zoltán Ónodi-Szűcs, Vice-Chancellor for Healthcare Coordination
  • Dr. Zsolt Lampé, General Director of Gyula Kenézy Hospital and Clinic of UD
  • Dr. István Várkonyi, Director of Institute of Infectology at UD, Head of Operative Coordinating Body
  • Dr. Elek Bartha, Vice-Rector for Educational Affairs,
  • Dr. Attila Jenei, Director of Coordinating Center for International Education,
  • Péter Pilishegyi, Director of Center for Student Services and Relations,
  • István Bognár, President of Students’ Union at UD
  • Dr. Csaba Papp, Director of Institute of Primary Healthcare and Health Promotion at UD
  • Dr. Péter Fülöp, Member of Advisory Body for Coordinating Center for International Education

as well as the deans of faculties at UD with significant numbers of international students, such as:

  • Dr. László Mátyus, Dean, Faculty of Medicine
  • Dr. Károly Pető, Dean, Faculty of Economics
  • Dr. Miklós Vecsernyés, Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy
  • Dr. Kinga Bágyi, Dean, Faculty of Dentistry
  • Dr. Róbert Keményfi, Dean, Faculty of Humanities
  • Dr. Ferenc Kun, Dean, Faculty of Science and Technology
  • Dr. Edit Szűcs, Dean, Faculty of Engineering
  • Dr. Judit Zsuga, Dean, Faculty of Public Health


Information update

Due to the epidemiological situation related to the spread of SARS-CoV-2, several protocols and rules of procedure in effect at the University of Debrecen shall be modified temporarily.

At present, there are no persons infected by coronavirus among the staff and students of the University of Debrecen.

The person who was diagnosed in Debrecen on March 5 as infected is a British citizen with a residential address in Debrecen and, following his arrival by plane from Milan, Italy, he did not get into contact with the local population. After 2 days spent at home, he went to the Institute of Infectology at UD, located at the Kenézy University Hospital site. He has no school-age children, and his family members also lead a life of homemakers. Passengers traveling together on board the same airplane have been identified, the representatives of the relevant epidemiological authorities have contacted them, and the necessary measures shall be duly taken.   

The results of the tests taken on March 5 in the case of our students from Iran who, during the past days, had been in contact with infected subjects from Iran and are currently treated at Budapesti Szent László Kórház, are negative.


Symptoms and diagnosis

If you have symptoms of acute respiratory infection (fever, sorethroat, depression, cough, shortness of breath), the suspicion of coronavirus infection arises if, within 21 days prior to the emergence of the symptoms, you have had close contact with someone infected or, within 21 days prior to the emergence of the symptoms, you have traveled to parts of the world where the communal spread of coronavirus is assumed or proved to have taken place.

The areas concerned on the basis of the assumed spread of the infection are primarily the following: China, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Iran, as well as the following parts of Italy: Lombardia, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont and Veneto.

For further information, please visit the following websites:

If, on the basis of the conditions listed above, a well-grounded suspicion of coronavirus infection arises, we request that you stay at home and call your General Practitioner or, outside office hours, the doctor on-call in your area of residence. Follow the instructions of the doctor, who will take care of the necessary measures. If, within the past 21 days, you as a student or faculty member have traveled to areas affected by the infection, then, for three weeks, you should avoid getting in touch with other members of the community, should stay at home and monitor yourself for potential symptoms. If, in the meanwhile, you experience symptoms – such as fever, cough, sore throat, depression and shortness of breath –, you should also stay at home. Call your GP or the nearest round-the-clock service of doctors on-call (at +36-52-404040), from whom you will receive concrete instructions on what to do on the basis of a list of questions and answers compiled by Sürgősségi Klinika [Emergency Clinics] and OMSZ [Országos Mentőszolgálat -- National Ambulance Service]. If necessary, you can be taken to the Institute of Infectology at UD with the assistance of special ambulance services available from OMSZ.

In all cases, areas affected by infection are the areas identified as such at all times by the World Health Organization (WHO).

If you experience severe acute respiratory symptoms, but none of the conditions described above are relevant for you, in that case, you are not suspected to have been infected by coronavirus. In this case, we suggest that you stay at home, drink lots of water, take pills for fever and do not get in touch with other members of the community until the symptoms disappear. If your symptoms become more serious and you continuue to experience shortness of breath, then ask for an appointment with your GP.

The disease SARS-CoV-2 is fairly similar to flu or grippe, but there is less experience about it around. It is transmitted through respiratory droplets and, in general, it can cause the onset of symptoms after a few days of latency or incubation peried. In the great majority of the cases, the course of the disease and the symptoms do not seem to be grave or serious. At present, it is believed that it may affect primarily elderly people and those who also suffer from other significant diseases (e.g.: those who have transplanted organs, those whose immune system is suppressed and those who receive chemotherapy). As opposed to the flu, in the case of the coronavirus disease, there has been no vaccine or routine medication developed. In spite of this fact, we simply need to behave the same way as in a flu epidemic, which is currently around anyway. This involves the observation and the practice of the following simple preventive rules:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with hot water and soap more frequently than you would at other times.
  2. Use hand sanitizers.
  3. Restrict practicing forms of greeting that involve bodily contact (handshakes, kisses, etc.).
  4. Avoid rubbing your eyes or touching your face.
  5. For sneezing and coughing, use disposable tissues and use them only once. Mind the general hygiene etiquette concerning coughing. When you dispose of used tissues, drop them straight in the garbage.
  6. Disinfect objects and surfaces used frequently (such as computer keyboards, doorknobs, etc.).
  7. Air the venues you stay in as often as possible.
  8. As much as possible, stay away from crowds while you move or travel around and in your free time. 

For your information, I wish to emphasize that, in the community venues and in the toilets on the premises of the University of  Debrecen, we make sure that the possibility of disinfecting hands is provided for, and we will do our best to continue to inform you concerning the changes in the current epidemiological situation.

Rules and regulations on travel

According to the letter addressed to the employees of the University of Debrecen, dated on March  5, we hereby wish to inform the members of the university community that, during the course of the next 30 days, they are not allowed to travel abroad on official business and, if possible, they should avoid receiving guests or visitors from countries affected by the spread of the coronavirus either. The permisson for taking official business trips during this time period issued before is hereby withdrawn. If their business trip to the areas affected is currently under way or they have returned from such a trip in recent days (from China, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Iran, as well as the following parts of Italy: Lombardia, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont and Veneto), we request that they should voluntarily stay away from the university for 21 days following their return to Hungary.

In cases such as the above, the conditions for working from home (remote work) should be established in all positions where it is feasible. In this case, the salary for work is payable. If such remote work cannot be implemented in cases of official business trips that are currently under way, absolutely essential in the interest of the employer or recently implemented, an absence fee may be paid. 

According to the decree issued by the Minister of Healthcare on March 5, all official travel on business for healthcare employees is PROHIBITED.

If you have traveled to areas affected by the spread of the virus on private business during the course of your vacation, you are required to file an official report on it to your employer and to stay at home for 21 days on paid or unpaid holidays, as well as avoid visiting any community spaces or locations. We hereby kindly request that you should not, during the course of the foloowing weeks, take any trips outside Hungary even in your free time. 

Please note that compliance with the instructions listed above is your personal responsibility and non-compliance with them shall constitute a breach of responsibilities and endangering others.

As regards the case of prohibited travel or trips longer than 30 days, booking shall depend on permission issued by higher authorities (such as the Rector, Chancellor, Deans or Head of Clinical Center).

Please find further and continuously updated information on the areas affected at the following websites:


Information for students

For students who need to stay at home, the university authorities will do their best to provide them with a chance of receiving the relevant teaching material in the form of distance learning and instruction. If you need to stay away from the university, please notify the Dean’s Office if you are Hungarian or the Coordinating Center for International Education if you are an international student, so as to make sure your absence are properly accounted for.

Concerning the requirements of completing the individual courses, inquire from the coordinators responsible for the subject.

As regards the rules and regulations concerning the completion of the requirements for the semester, the management of the faculties shall make the necessary decisions, depending on how the situation might evolve.   

Community events

Holding major (i.e., involving several hundreds of or more participants) university events is not recommended. Regarding these, a specific decision by the top management of the university shall be required, made in compliance with the respective requirements issued by governmental and other authorities.  

At present, events designed for the general population need not be canceled but permission for holding them shall be required from the top management of the university, after careful and thorough preparatory measures have been taken.  


Dear Students, Faculty, Staff and Employees of UD,

If you have any questions, queries, concerns or suggestions concerning the above, feel free to send us an email to the address .

This information and instruction package is related to the current situation and, if necessary, may be subject to change, modification or review by the Operative Coordinating Body at UD to accommodate it to new developments.

For this reason, we kindly request that you follow and monitor closely the upcoming newsletter, messages and information packages from us, in which you will find the current and topical  information.

Our university is intent on doing its best to handle the situation properly and with due care. We kindly ask you to be responsible partners in our efforts to provide appropriate protection and safety.

The operation of the university – while the above rules and regulations are in effect, and until they are revoked or withdrawn  –  shall be conducted as usual.

Dated in Debrecen, on March 6, 2020.

On behalf of the Operative Coordinating Body of the University of Debrecen:


Dr. István Várkonyi

Director of Institute of Infectology at UD, Head of Operative Coordinating Body

Dr. Zoltán Szilvássy Dr. Zoltán Bács Zoltán
Rector Chancellor