Coronavirus outbreak resurfaced in Germany, sparks fresh local lockdown

Coronavirus outbreak resurfaced in Germany, sparks fresh local lockdown
Coronavirus outbreak resurfaced in Germany and local authorities reimposed lockdown restiction measures. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: The coronavirus outbreak resurfaced in Germany. The authorities in the country’s North Rhine-Westphalia are reimposing local lockdown restriction measures after a coronavirus outbreak linked to a meatpacking plant.

More than 1,500 employees of the Tönnies plant have tested positive.

State premier Armin Laschet said the “preventative measures” in Gütersloh district which would last until 30 June. Gütersloh district is home to about 360,000 people.

It is the first such move since the country began lifting its lockdown restrictions nationwide in May.

Germany has been praised for its response to the crisis, but there are fears infections are rising again.

What’s happening in Gütersloh?

As the coronavirus outbreak resurfaced in Germany, fear came along with it. The outbreak started from Tönnies meatpacking plant, located in south-west of the city of Gütersloh. Mr Laschet described the outbreak as the “biggest infection incident” in the country.

He said: “We have decided that further measures are necessary.”

People are not restricted from leaving the area, but Mr Laschet urged for local residents “not to travel to other districts”.

Cinemas, museums, bars and gyms must all close, and restaurants can only serve meals to take away. Stricter social distancing measures are back in force, meaning people can only meet one person from outside their own household in public. Nurseries and schools for 50,000 children have been closed.

Mandatory quarantine in place for all employees of the affected plant. Three police units have been deployed to enforce the measures, accompanied by aid workers.

Authorities are distributing food to more than 7,000 employees and have put up metal fencing around residential buildings where workers live.

Mr Laschet said it was important that the workers in quarantine are treated humanely adding that only 24 residents of the district who do not work at the plant have so far tested positive for the virus.

Polish, Bulgarian and Romanian consular staff have all visited the region and translators are on hand to speak to migrant workers.

On Tuesday, Mr Laschet criticised the Tönnies Group for their response to the outbreak, telling reporters their willingness to co-operate “could have been greater”.

A spokesman for the Tönnies Group apologised for the outbreak and all operations at the site were suspended last Wednesday.

This is not the only localised outbreak in Germany. A tower block has been placed under quarantine in the central German city of Göttingen, and police were sent to maintain order on Saturday after residents tried to get out.

Officials said those inside attacked officers with metal bars, bottles and fireworks. Most though have been complying with the quarantine.

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