DThe air force plans to send a plane to China on Friday to fly out Germans from the Chinese province of Hubei, which has been hardest hit by the corona virus. After the approval of the participating states was given, the flight should start from Cologne-Wahn in the morning according to dpa information.
According to information from the F.A.Z. the Germans should arrive at Wuhan airport at 8:00 p.m. local time (1:00 p.m. Central European Time). They are currently on the way there. They had to organize the transportation to the airport themselves. They don’t know when the plane will take off, a student told the newspaper. Before the flight, an examination of the passengers was planned. According to previous estimates, around 90 Germans are affected. Participation in the flight is voluntary.
The Frankfurt Health Office is preparing for more than 100 Germans from the Chinese province of Hubei, which is severely affected by the coronavirus. At Frankfurt Airport, the passengers on the return flight will first be taken to the Medical Assessment Center, as the head of the agency, René Gottschalk, told hr-Info in a post broadcast on Friday morning. This serves to “record possible contact persons”. The passengers are then to be taken to a quarantine station located in Germersheim in southern Palatinate.
Gottschalk wants to introduce the Medical Assessment Center this Friday together with Social Minister Kai Klose (Greens) and the head of the clinic, Michael Sroka Freitag (10.45 a.m.). If one of the passengers shows symptoms of illness, he will be brought to the university clinic in Frankfurt, said Gottschalk. In his opinion, the passengers would have to stay in quarantine for 12 to 13 days, because the maximum incubation period is 14 days – and the time of the flight can already be deducted.
Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said to the magazine “Focus” that until we have clarified whether the returnees were infected with the virus, “we cannot let them go into everyday life”. The quarantine is appropriate to protect these people and their surroundings.
The number of deaths increases
The Federal Foreign Office advises against traveling to China because of the rapid spread of lung disease. Infections and deaths saw the biggest increase in one day until Friday. The number of patients with the novel coronavirus rose to 9692 around 1981, as reported by the Health Commission in Beijing. The death toll rose by 42 to 213. On Thursday evening, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the spread of the virus a “health emergency of international importance”. The 190 member countries will coordinate the crisis measures recommended by the WHO.
Germans should refrain from traveling to China. “If possible, postpone trips to China that are not necessary,” says the Federal Foreign Office’s new travel advice. We explicitly warn against visiting the severely affected Hubei province. The US government called on its citizens even more clearly to stop traveling to China. Americans in China should also consider leaving the country. The American travel advice for China has been raised to the highest of four warning levels: “Do not travel.” Many airlines, including Lufthansa, have already suspended their flights to China. For this reason, Beijing announced a return campaign for fellow countrymen stranded from Wuhan.
The number of infections with the new corona virus 2019-nCoV has now exceeded the worldwide cases of the Sars pandemic 17 years ago. The total number in China alone climbed to more than 9600. According to the World Health Organization, 8096 people fell ill and 774 died of severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) in 2002/2003. The new virus, which is related to the Sars pathogen, has so far killed 213 people.
WHO announces international emergency
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for an “international health emergency” because of the outbreak of the new lung disease in China. This is linked to specific recommendations to states in order to limit spread across borders as far as possible. The number of infections outside of China is still relatively small, said WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Thursday evening. But you don’t know what damage the virus would do in a country with a poor health system.
Despite the emergency, the WHO sees “no reason” for travel and trade restrictions with China, the WHO director continued. “The WHO does not recommend any restrictions, but even rejects them.” The decision was not a “vote of no confidence” against China. “We’re all in the same boat,” said Tedros. The virus can only be stopped together. “This is the time for facts, not fear.”
Climax is yet to come
With the first disease in Tibet, infections are now detected in all regions and provinces of China. The rise is rapid. Only 40 cases had been counted two weeks ago. The peak of the epidemic is expected to be at the earliest in a week. Outside the People’s Republic, more than 100 infections have been counted in around 20 countries.
There are now five confirmed cases in Germany. On Thursday evening, the Bavarian Ministry of Health announced that another Webasto employee from the Starnberg district had become infected.
In the evening, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte confirmed two cases of coronavirus. Two Chinese tourists would now be in an isolation station in Rome. Conte said that air traffic between Italy and China will initially be suspended. He called on people not to panic that the situation was under control.