Number of coronavirus cases in Germany rises above 1.100
Coronavirus cases in Germany rising rapidly
Coronavirus infections in Germany have increased rapidly over the past few days, jumping from around 240 on Wednesday morning, to 600 by late afternoon on Friday, to 1.112 on Monday morning, according to the Robert Koch Institute. The highest number of cases is still being reported in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state.
There have now been confirmed cases of the virus in 15 federal states, after the first infections were registered in Brandenburg, Saxony and Thuringia at the beginning of last week. The only state still yet to register an infection is Saxony-Anhalt.
Out of all the cases in Germany, 17 people are known to have recovered. There have so far not been any deaths in Germany. The map below shows an overview of all reported cases.
Jens Spahn calls for cancellation of large events
As the number of coronavirus infections escalated, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Sunday that larger events and festivals in Germany should be called off, to halt the spread of the virus. "After many discussions with those responsible, I emphatically encourage the cancellation of events with more than 1.000 participants until further notice," he wrote on Twitter.
Over the last week a number of high-profile events have been called off, including the ITB Berlin Trade Fair, the Leipzig Book Fair and the industrial show Hannover Messe. Spahn's latest recommendation could mean further postponements, including Bundesliga football matches and concerts.
With the coronavirus outbreak already having a major impact on Europe's largest economy, Angela Merkel's coalition met on Sunday to discuss ways to soften the blow. One possible measure would be to scrap solidarity surcharge this summer, earlier than originally planned, to put more money in taxpayers' pockets.
Hospitals in Germany “well-prepared” for coronavirus epidemic
While the number of cases is expected to continue to grow, hospitals in Germany say that they are well-prepared for a major outbreak. The hospital group told DPA on Monday that, even if the number of infections rises sharply, they will always be able to postpone planned surgeries in order to increase bed capacities at short notice.
Coronavirus is believed to be spread via particles that are released when one coughs or sneezes. Symptoms of coronavirus include fever and respiratory complaints like coughing or shortness of breath. Patients might also experience muscle pain, headaches, sore throat or confusion.
The Robert Koch Institute estimates that around 80 percent of infected people display only mild symptoms. However, current global findings suggest that around 15 percent of those infected develop more serious symptoms.
If you are displaying the symptoms of coronavirus and have recently returned from a high-risk area, or had contact with someone who has, you are advised to quarantine yourself at home and contact your GP.