German Health Minister Does Not Rule Out Quarantining Cities If Corona Virus Spreads To Germany

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www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/medizin/coronavirus-jens-spahn-spricht-von-veraenderter-lage-nach-covid-19-ausbruch-in-italien-a-7205adce-faed-4247-aaad-43c30e475d88

…Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn speaks of a changed situation after the deaths in Italy: “The Corona epidemic has arrived as an epidemic in Europe,” he said at a press conference in Berlin. It is also possible that the virus will spread in Germany, he said. The situation suggests that the virus is spreading in the form of a pandemic. But Germany is best prepared.

Every citizen can make a contribution, the minister said: washing your hands regularly, putting fewer faces on your face and flu vaccinations could protect you from infection with influenza. It still takes time to develop a special vaccine for the novel virus. The state is doing everything to protect the citizens, said Spahn. “In times like these, the state has to work.”

“Question of proportionality”

When infections occur in a city or community, it is decided which measures are necessary in public space, said Spahn. “In principle, no measures can be excluded, but at the same time there is always the question of proportionality.”

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The Infection Protection Act provides different options to limit an infection. There are numerous intermediate stages, from the cancellation of major events, the closure of facilities such as schools or daycare centers, to the sealing off of entire cities. It had to be decided “in individual cases” and “appropriate and proportionate”. For example, although measles is significantly more contagious than the corona virus, no cities are blocked even with measles infections, said Spahn….