“The number of quarantine cases will continue to increase extremely”


In the district of Leer in Lower Saxony, seven people were probably infected in a restaurant. Health Minister does not want to move away from the easing course.

© Photo: Ronny Hartmann / dpa
Symbolic picture: Operation with face protection.

In Lower Saxony the case has apparently occurred, which some experts have warned about and which some restaurateurs have feared: shortly after Reopening of restaurants and cafes at least seven people seem to have contracted the coronavirus in a pub. “The infections are probably related to a visit to a restaurant,” said the district of Leer.

In a corresponding message, it continues: “The health department emphasizes that this is not an isolated case with only a few contacts. It is an outbreak with several infected people and many contacts at the same time.” Follow-up is now correspondingly complex. ”

Lower Saxony’s Minister of Health Carola Reimann sees no need to move away from the easing course because of the Corona cases. “According to the initial findings, the infection is not due to a normal restaurant visit, instead a private party was apparently celebrated there,” said Reimann on Saturday to the news agency dpa.

The owner of the restaurant concerned emphasized that distance and hygiene rules had been observed that evening.

Minister Reimann said the country had always pointed out that the corona easing was associated with a certain risk. “We will not be able to completely prevent contagion in the future either,” said Reimann. In such a case, it was crucial that the local authorities consistently track all contacts in order to narrow the infection process as closely as possible. “This is exactly what is happening in the Leer district,” said the minister.

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Lower Saxony was one of the first federal states in which restaurants were allowed to reopen – since May 11th. In the days that followed, almost all other federal states gradually followed. Exceptions apply to Bavaria, where for the time being only beer gardens and outdoor areas may open, interiors from May 25th. Nationwide pioneer was Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, where the restaurants were allowed to reopen on May 9th.

A few days after an opening evening on May 15, several guests and the host had been tested positive for the corona virus in a restaurant in the municipality of Moormerland in the Leer district. The virus has also been found in friends of the owner.

According to the district of Leer, the new cases meant that at least 50 people were ordered to take “preventive quarantine at home”. Further test results are still pending. According to the health authority, it is not an isolated case with only a few contacts. “It is an outbreak with several infected people and many contacts at the same time.” Follow-up is now correspondingly complex.

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The district announced that the seven positive findings that were related to each other had been communicated to the health department from Tuesday to Friday. In the district of Leer, according to their own information, no confirmed new infection was reported at all for more than a week. According to NDR 1 Niedersachsen, it was still unclear whether the visitors or the staff would not have followed the rules.

A spokeswoman for the hotel and restaurant association Dehoga told NDR 1 Niedersachsen that the hygiene and distance concept that the association had developed meant that new infections in restaurants were actually not possible. The district administrator of Leer, Matthias Groote, warned the citizens of the district announcement: “This outbreak clearly shows us: Corona is not over, the virus can spread anytime.

In a video published on the county’s Twitter website, Groote said the number of quarantine cases would continue to increase “extremely” because the current cases had arisen “as part of a meeting”.

Some experts had warned against dining in closed rooms. Andreas Podbielski, director of the Institute for Medical Microbiology, Virology and Hygiene at the University Medical Center Rostock, the German press agency, said that guests of restaurants should sit outside if possible. “There are practically no infections. The corona virus is largely transmitted through the air. ”

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On the other hand, the draft protected outside. However, it becomes more problematic in the interior of restaurants or cafés. Even with sufficient air exchange every six to ten minutes, there is no 100 percent guarantee.

Restaurants and pubs were closed in mid-March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In compliance with distance rules and hygiene regulations, the catering industry was allowed to gradually reopen, against the background of the respective infection in the countries and country-specific features.

70,000 companies in the catering industry are facing bankruptcy

In some places, guests have to register in advance with their address and telephone number. In some restaurants, guests are allocated seats. Often it is only allowed to be served at the table. Nobody is allowed to sit at counters in many places.

Dehoga described the situation of gastronomy and tourism in early May as “dramatic”. A survey of the companies showed that a third was at risk of bankruptcy – 70,000 of the 220,000 companies. (dpa / tsp)

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