Update: May 24, 2020, 10:13 a.m. CEDT
Because of the easing of many Corona restrictions in Germany, many people may feel the danger posed by the virus is gone. But outbreaks in restaurants and prayer rooms suggest otherwise.
In Germany, two local Coronavirus outbreaks in a restaurant in Leer, a city in the northwestern tip of the country, and in a prayer hall in Hesse, revealed how volatile the situation was. “These cases show that we still need to be vigilant,” Katrin Göring-Eckardt, leader of the Greens floor in the Bundestag, told the publisher ‘Funke Mediengruppe’.
Göring-Eckardt says states need to be vigilant to ensure the situation does not go out of control. Following the hygiene rules and having enough capacity for Corona testing is an important aspect.
At the ‘Alte Scheune’ restaurant in Leer, at least eleven people were infected with Coronavirus. At this stage it seems that the outbreak may have been caused by a violation of Corona’s rules. Local politicians said there had been a private celebration at the establishment on May 15, 2020, the day the restaurant was allowed to reopen.
Seventy People in Quarantine
According to witnesses, guests shook hands with each other. Neither do they wear masks to cover their mouths and noses, nor do they maintain the necessary distance from each other. The violation procedure will begin with the restaurant owner. He may have to pay a penalty of up to 25,000 Euros (27,262 US Dollars or 22,409 Pounds Sterling).
After the party, the innkeeper and nine guests tested positive for Corona. Another person was infected by one of the guests afterwards. More tests are scheduled, which means the number may rise even further. Local health authorities have contacted many contacts now. So far, 70 people are in quarantine. According to local media in Lower Saxony, some of them are already showing symptoms.
Owner Declines Responsibility
One of the problems faced by Leer was that ‘Alte Scheune’ was opened for three days after the celebration. It is not clear if anyone was infected there after May 15. In Leer county, no new Coronavirus infections have been registered for one full week until the incident occurs.
On social media, the restaurant owner said he and his team had followed all the hygiene rules. He said he had sat with his guests for a while after dinner. Forty people reportedly took part in the event at Leer. One of them was a doctor who had flu-like symptoms a few days later. After he tested positive for Corona, other guests were also tested.
Plague in Hesse
In Lower Saxony, Corona rules will be relaxed further tomorrow, regardless of the local outbreak in Leer. The hotel can welcome tourists, public swimming pools are allowed to open. So is the camping ground.
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The second local outbreak occurred at a Baptist establishment in Frankfurt. On May 10, prayer services were permitted again after a long break. On the same day, people from several countries in the state of Hesse participated in such events. According to local health authorities, there is no sign the Corona rule might be ignored. Still the total number of infected people is 107 on Sunday nights.
Slaughterhouses and Refugee Hostels
Earlier this month, a Corona outbreak in a slaughterhouse in Germany was reported. Eastern European workers sharing a bedroom are affected. In some refugee hostels, Coronavirus is spreading as well while the overall situation in Germany is improving, judging by the official numbers.
On Sunday morning, the number of Coronavirus cases in Germany reached 179,986. At least 159,700 people who were infected were healed. The number of Corona-related deaths was 8,261.
Main photo: onlinestreet.de (signs)/ Immanuel Marcus
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