New Coronavirus Cases in Germany, One Man in Critical Condition

February 26, 2020 Updated: February 26, 2020
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A 25-year-old man living in the southern German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg has tested positive for coronavirus after a trip to Milan, and another man further north is in a critical condition with the disease, authorities said on Tuesday.

The Baden-Wuerttemberg health ministry said the man in the southern state, who had likely become infected during his visit to Italy, had contacted authorities after coming down with flu-like symptoms. He will be treated in isolation, it added.

“People in close contact with the patient will be kept in home isolation and be asked about their state of health every day,” it said. “As soon as a contact person develops symptoms, they will also be isolated in hospital.”

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Picture shows the closed main entrance to the administration headquarters of the North-Rhine Westphalian district of Heinsberg, Germany, on Feb. 26, 2020. (Wolfgang Rattay/ Reuters)

In North Rhine-Westphalia, the state health ministry said the man there was admitted to hospital on Monday afternoon with symptoms of severe pneumonia.

“The patient is in a critical condition and is currently being isolated in the intensive care unit,” the ministry said.

“The patient’s wife is also being treated as an in-patient with symptoms of a viral disease. Her condition is currently stable. The diagnosis on whether she has also been infected with the virus is still pending,” it added in a statement.

Schools and kindergartens in the Heinsberg district of North Rhine-Westphalia, where the man is from, will remain closed on Wednesday as a precaution, the ministry said.

The new confirmed cases take to 18 the total number of coronavirus cases in Germany. There have been no deaths.

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A poster with information about the new coronavirus and an advice on how to get medical help for suspected symptoms is displayed at an entry door of a doctor’s office in Berlin, Germany on Feb. 25, 2020. (Annegret Hilse/Reuters)

Car supplier Webasto said last month a Chinese employee had tested positive for the virus upon returning to China following a visit to the company headquarters near Munich. The employee apparently infected several German colleagues during the visit.

The new coronavirus, believed to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, has since spread to more than a dozen countries.

Neighboring Switzerland confirmed its first case of the coronavirus earlier on Tuesday. Austria also confirmed its first two cases on Tuesday.

By Thomas Escritt and Paul Carrel