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Coronavirus in NRW: Second patient confirmed

Crisis team in action : Second coronavirus patient confirmed in NRW

A second case of the coronavirus in North Rhine-Westphalia has now been confirmed.The University Hospital Düsseldorf confirms that two patients are currently being treated there for the virus.

For the first time in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), a patient has been diagnosed with the coronavirus - and is now receiving intensive medical treatment. The infection was diagnosed in a man in the Heinsberg district, and he is in critical condition, the NRW Health Ministry and the district announced late Tuesday evening.

As the University Hospital Düsseldorf communicated on Wednesday, two patients infected with corona virus are currently being treated there. "A positive test result is now also confirmed for the second person, who is from close personal circles of the patient," the hospital stated in a press release. A spokesperson did not want to comment on whether this was the wife of the first patient from the Heinsberg district when asked.

The patient was treated at the Kölner Uniklinik (Cologne University Hospital) just last week. He had been at the university hospital for regular follow-up examinations on February 13 and 19, a spokesperson for the city of Cologne said at a press conference on Wednesday. After the public health department had been informed on Tuesday evening that the man had been diagnosed with the corona virus, it had been determined who had come into contact with the patient. Ten employees of the university hospital and 31 patients were being checked.

According to dpa information, the patient is in his mid-40s and suffers from a pre-existing condition. His wife is also being treated as an inpatient with symptoms of a viral disease. Her condition is currently stable. It is not yet clear when it will be determined if she also has the corona virus.

The man had been admitted to a hospital in Erkelenz near Aachen on Monday with symptoms of severe pneumonia. He was isolated there in the intensive care unit and was to be brought to the University Hospital in Düsseldorf overnight into Wednesday.

In the Heinsberg district, a quickly convened crisis committee decided that schools and kindergartens were to remain closed on Wednesday as a precautionary measure. The district says it is now trying to identify all possible persons who may have come into contact with those affected.

The man inflicted with the virus is said to have been in contact with an acquaintance who had recently been in China on business, the "Aachener Zeitung" quoted District Administrator Stephan Pusch. The "Rheinische Post" initially reported on this first case in NRW.

NRW Health Minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) emphasized in a statement that the authorities are investigating the cases under the utmost urgency in order to prevent a further spread of the virus. He said that the health system was "well prepared and positioned for such diseases". The University Hospital in Düsseldorf announced that there would be further information available on Wednesday. The two patients were expected to arrive there during the night with a specially protected transport of the fire department. They were to be treated in isolation.

The first coronavirus patient was also confirmed in Baden-Württemberg on Tuesday. The affected person is a 25-year-old man from the district of Goeppingen, who, according to the Stuttgart Health Ministry, was probably infected during a trip to Milan in Italy. The patient had flu-like symptoms on his return and was to be placed in isolation.

(Orig. text: GA (with material from dpa); Translation: ck)