New lockdown for 360,000 Germans after abattoir spike worsens second wave fears

0
6
New lockdown for 360,000 Germans after abattoir spike worsens second wave fears

Around 360,000 people in Germany have been placed back on lockdwon after an outbreak of coronavirus at an abattoir sparked a fears of a second wave.

The premier of the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia said on Tuesday that the Guetersloh area would re-enter lockdown until June 30.

Guetersloh, with about 360,000 residents, is the first area in Germany to go back into lockdown after the authorities began gradually lifting restrictive measures at the end of April.

State premier Armin Laschet, who had led calls for Germany to ease lockdown measures, said bars, museums, galleries, cinemas, sports halls, gyms and swimming pools in Guetersloh would be closed, and picnics and barbecues prohibited.

Follow all coronavirus updates on our live blog here

“We will lift the measure as soon as possible, when we have certainty about the safety of the infection,” Laschet told a news conference. “It is a preventative measure.”

More than 1,500 workers at a meat processing plant in Guetersloh had tested positive for the coronavirus, plus some of their family members and 24 people with no connection to the plant, he said.

Laschet is a leading contender to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel when her fourth term in office expires next year.

New lockdown for 360,000 Germans after abattoir spike worsens second wave fears 1

New lockdown for 360,000 Germans after abattoir spike worsens second wave fears 2

Further outbreaks of the virus in his state, Germany’s most populous, could damage his chances.

State premiers had agreed to act locally where possible to suppress the virus and there was no justification now for broader action, Laschet said.

Earlier on Tuesday, the head of the Robert Koch Institute for public health, Lothar Wieler, said local outbreaks had been a major factor behind a spike in the last few days in the coronavirus reproduction rate, currently estimated at 2.76.

A reproduction rate, or ‘R’, of 2.76 means that 100 people who have contracted the virus infect, on average, 276 others.

While Germany was at risk of a second coronavirus wave, Wieler said he was optimistic it could be prevented.

.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here