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829 Corona cases in the Rhein-Sieg district: District officials against a quick lifting of the contact ban

829 Corona cases in the Rhein-Sieg district : District officials against a quick lifting of the contact ban

In the daily press conference of the Rhein-Sieg-Kreis district health department head, Rainer Meilicke, warned against a relaxation of the contact ban in the district on the corona crisis. He fears a second wave of infection.

„It's playing with fire." The attitude of Rainer Meilicke, Head of the District Health Office, towards a conceivable relaxation of the contact ban or even a return to normality is clear: If politicians were to consider whether April 19 could be a turning point or an end point for the current measures, he believes that this would be completely absurd. For Meilicke, the ultimate goal remains the same: to radically slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

He is even rather critical of a relaxation from 1 June onwards. "Then we must expect a second wave," Meilicke said on Tuesday at the daily press conference of the Rhein-Sieg district. Meilicke referred to a calculation by science journalist Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim, who had described a scenario according to which the number of corona cases would have to become so small again that the health authorities would be able to keep track of all cases and follow up on them.

Continue the shutdown

"She's absolutely right. This is the only way to enforce targeted measures for the infected and possible contact persons. We must maintain shutdown." And that is exactly what district administrator Sebastian Schuster is also concerned about. "We're still running in booted mode," he said. And the issue of tracking is becoming increasingly difficult given the high number of infections.

In order to comply with the decree on further contact-reducing measures issued by the NRW Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs (MAGS), the district needs an additional 150 employees, he said. The aim is to be able to closely follow infection chains even if the number of coronavirus infections continues to rise and the current contact-reducing measures are reduced or cancelled.

Mayors promise help

During a telephone conference with the 19 mayors of the Rhein-Sieg district on Tuesday morning, this was exactly the topic. And his colleagues had assured him of their support. Each municipality would appoint one administrative employee per 10,000 inhabitants to assist the district in tracing chains of infection.

"This is a clear expression of inter-communal cooperation", said the District Administrator visibly relieved. "As great as the challenges posed by the Corona crisis are, they prove once again that we in the Rhein-Sieg district are a strong community of municipalities that acts as one, even in difficult times“.

Meanwhile twelve dead in the district due to Covid-19

In the Rhein-Sieg district, a total of 829 people have tested positive for Sars-CoV-2 (as of Tuesday, 5 p.m.). However, the results of 367 samples from the smear centres are still pending. Twelve deaths were reported in the district, 268 people recovered. The district lists 549 current cases. More than 3000 persons are in domestic isolation.

Boris Johnson is a typical case

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is currently receiving intensive care, is a typical case, said Meilicke: male and middle-aged. In fact, 56 percent of all infected persons are male and the average age is 48 years.

Men are generally more likely to move around unprotected in public than women. And Johnson's course of the disease can also be described as typical, according to the head of the district health department. After the incubation period of about five days, Johnson tested positive and initially had no symptoms, then mild until he became a case for emergency medicine.

The progression took about 17 to 21 days, Meilicke explained. And he did not know of any case of a convalescent who had come out of the disease without damage to lung function.

Retirement homes are predestined for rapid virus spread

Meilicke said that the five nursing homes affected by corona infections still remain in the district, although in one of them there is only one individual case. About 60 home residents and 30 employees are affected.

As closed rooms, old people's homes are predestined for the development and transmission of viruses. Despite visitor bans, there are still contacts, for example with nursing staff, therapists, chiropodists and others who offer services.

He said it was impossible that the virus had been introduced by persons visiting their dying relatives. Meilicke: "These special cases exist. ...under strict and explicit protective measures."

(Original text: Dylan Cem Akalin, Translation: Mareike Graepel)