Drivers staged a horn-honking protest in Budapest on Monday to condemn the government's response to the coronavirus outbreak, including its move to allow indefinite rule by decree.

The protesters, who circled a roundabout near Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's office, next to the Szechenyi Chain Bridge, also waved flags from their vehicles and blared music from loudspeakers.

"Even honking is forbidden in Hungary. In Stuttgart they can protest next to each other. In Hungary it is not even possible to honk", lamented an activist as many protesters were stopped by police officers.

Protest organiser and opposition MP Akos Hadhazy, criticised the government's recent decision to send the majority of hospital patients home in order to free up beds for COVID-19 patients.

"Practically tens of thousands should be in hospitals but they are not. They say the pandemic is over, it reached its peak, hospitals are empty nonetheless," Hadhazy stated.

On March 30, the Hungarian parliament approved a law allowing Orban's government to rule by decree without an end date in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, which the prime minister said, last week, was due to peak on Sunday May 3. According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University there have been 3,035 confimed coronavirus cases, with 351 people dying with the virus.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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