Coronavirus in Bavaria: How the German state is dealing with the spread of the virus

Coronavirus in Bavaria: How the German state is dealing with the spread of the virus
Munich's Schwabing Clinic. Photo: DPA
Eight out of 10 cases of coronavirus in Germany have been in Bavaria. How did the virus spread there, and how is the southern state currently coping with it?

Current situation

Over the weekend Bavaria’s Health Ministry reported two additional cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total in the southern state to 8, and Germany-wide to 10.

The Bavarian car parts supplier Webasto, where the first case was detected, announced that it had given out 139 tests to employees for the virus.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus in Germany: What you need to know

However, on Friday evening, a Health Ministry spokesman confirmed that a 52-year-old Webasto employee from the Fürstenfeldbruck district was infected, and on Saturday evening that a 33-year-old Munich resident had also contracted the illness.

Both sufferers, as well as four other patients, are currently being treated at the Munich Schwabing Clinic. 

“All six cases with the detection of the coronavirus in our clinic are in a clinically stable condition; they showed flu-like symptoms in the course of the disease and are currently largely free of symptoms,” said Chief Physician Professor Clemens Wendtner to Munich's Merkur news website on Wednesday. 

However, because the pathogens of the disease are still detected in the patients, they are remaining at the clinic for the time being. 

The hospital says it's prepared for further cases, with up to 30 beds available.

Chronology of the virus in Bavaria

January 16: A Chinese employee of the Webasto company received a visit in Shanghai from her parents from the Wuhan region, which is severely affected by the coronavirus.

January 19-23rd: The woman then visited the Webasto company in Stockdorf, Bavaria. She showed no symptoms of illness and took part in a seminar on January 21st, together with a 33-year-old Webasto employee from nearby Kaufering. Another Chinese employee, who would later be diagnosed with an infection, is also said to have been present at meetings.

January 24th: The otherwise healthy man suffered from a sore throat, chills and muscle aches. The following day he came down with a 39.1 degree C fever and a persistent cough.

The main entrance to Munich's Schwabing Clinic. Photo: DPA

January 26th: The Chinese woman tested positive for the coronavirus. The 33-year-old man, however, felt better in the evening and headed back to work the following day.

January 27th: The Chinese woman informed the company about her illness. The man from Kaufering then tested positive, marking the first case of coronavirus in Germany, and first human-to-human transmission in Europe.

READ ALSO: German coronavirus patient is first case of human-to-human transmission in Europe

January 28th: Tests showed that a 27-year-old and a 40-year-old man as well as a 33-year-old woman had also become infected. All three worked at Webasto. One of the infected had contact with the Chinese woman, the others with the 33-year-old man from Kaufering.

January 30th: Late in the evening it was revealed that another Webasto employee from Siegsdorf had become infected. He had flu-like symptoms, as did his wife and three children aged between six months and five years.

January 31st: It turned out that the oldest son of the Siegsdorf employee had been infected. No viruses could be detected in the remaining family members – but they also displayed symptoms.

In the evening, it was announced that 52-year-old Webasto employee from the town of Fürstenfeldbruck had also become infected.

February 1st: A 33-year-old Webasto employee from Munich has a positive test result. The first confirmed cases outside of Bavaria are also announced: a German tourist on the Spanish island of La Gomera fell ill, after contact with those infected.

A total of 124 people, among them a family from Würzburg, were evacuated from Wuhan and flown to Germany.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus evacuees arrive in Germany from China

February 2nd: Two of the returnees from Wuhan fell ill. They are currently being treated in a Frankfurt clinic.

Other consequences

China accounts for around a quarter of the total turnover of the German automotive industry. But because the coronavirus is practically paralyzing the country, companies have to improvise.

For the 3,500 employees at Volkswagen’s plant in Peking, for example, employees have been ordered to work from home between February 3rd and 17th, reported Die Welt. 

The news comes as an all-clear was given for eight German passengers on the cruise ship “Diamond Princess”, which is anchored off Yokohama in Japan. 

Although ten cases of the virus were discovered among passengers, the Germans were not among them.


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