Third EU Country Confirms the Coronavirus Patient
A woman from China had returned positive tests for the virus after return from a visit in Europe.
The first confirmed coronavirus patient in Germany was probably infected at his company by a Chinese guest. The woman from China had undergone further training at the Webasto company in the Starnberg district of Upper Bavaria in the Southern Germany and had returned positive tests for the virus after return to China, the company said. The Bavarian health authorities confirmed the description. The infected person is in the Munich Schwabing Clinic. He was still isolated and was being monitored.
The man is a 33-year-old from the Landsberg am Lech district. "He is doing very well, yesterday morning he was still working," said the President of the Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety, Andreas Zapf. The woman from Shanghai had had a visit from her parents who came from the particularly affected Chinese region of Wuhan before traveling to Germany. She flew back on January 23 and felt sick on the way home.
According to Zapf, there have been no other suspected cases so far: "So far we have not been able to find anyone who has other symptoms." But that was "as of now, 10:30 am". The authorities are currently trying to find out who the two Webasto employees were in contact with. That must now happen "very quickly". In addition to forty contact persons in the company and the family, the kindergarten where the children of the infected man go is also being checked. "Of course we think of children and also kindergartens," said Zapf.
According to the treating doctor, the 33-year-old patient is in "very good" condition. He is fever-free and currently has no respiratory symptoms, said Clemens Wendtner, chief physician at the Schwabing Clinic in Munich. The man was not treated in the hospital's special isolation ward, but in the normal isolation ward in a room with a lock. "The special isolation station is not activated and is also not activated for this patient," said Wendtner. There is no danger for fellow patients.
The staff at the Webasto headquarters in Stockdorfer have released the management for this week to come to the office or work from home. The company had previously canceled all business trips to China for the next two weeks. Webasto mainly produces car roofs and parking heaters and has more than ten locations in China. The largest factory is located in the metropolis of Wuhan, where the new type of lung disease first broke out.
4,500 infections worldwide
The case in Bavaria is one of the first three known human-to-human infections outside of Asia. So far, only one transmission from person to person in Vietnam has been proven outside of the country of origin, said a spokeswoman for the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin. So far, almost all of the approximately fifty infections recorded in France, the United States, Thailand and other Asian countries have been imported cases. The victims were infected during a trip to China. Only a few isolated cases of infection between close family members became known, but no transmission to hospital staff, work colleagues or chance contacts, for example.
Meanwhile, more than 4,500 infections with the 2019-nCoV virus from China have been confirmed worldwide. The number of deaths in China rose to more than 100 on Tuesday. Because of the lung disease, more and more countries want to bring their nationals back from the regions most affected, such as Great Britain and Belgium, Japan, France and the USA. The federal government is also considering fleeing Germans willing to leave China. A possible evacuation would be considered, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday before the confirmed case from Bavaria became known.
For fear of infection, Hong Kong announced on Tuesday that it would largely close its border to Chinese people from the People's Republic. All train and ferry connections will be closed at midnight on Thursday, Prime Minister Carrie Lam said. Since package tours from China are no longer permitted, an agreement has been reached with the authorities of the People's Republic to also suspend all individual trips by Chinese citizens.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is now warning of scaremongering. He is confident that China can control and curb the spread, WHO general secretary Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said after meeting with officials in Beijing, officials at Xinhua told Xinhua. He endorsed the Chinese government's actions. Tedros reportedly opposed taking foreigners who are currently in China out of the country. At the same time, he asked people to stay calm.