Over 100 released from coronavirus quarantine near Frankfurt airport
Over a hundred German nationals were Sunday released from quarantine at a military base near Frankfurt airport, two weeks after flying in from the Chinese city of Wuhan, epicentre of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
"All the people concerned have been allowed to leave the quarantine zone and rejoin their families," secretary of state for health Thomas Gebhart told a press conference.
None of them was contaminated by the virus which has killed more than 1,600 people, the vast majority in China.
They arrived in Frankfurt airport by plane along with more than 20 foreigners, mainly Chinese, on February 1st, after being delayed when Russia refused to let the plane land and refuel.
Some were subsequently hospitalized but now all have been released, the health ministry said.
Their two-week quarantine period was spent at the military base at Germersheim, 120 kilometres from Frankfurt.
"These measures have not been easy for the people involved, but were absolutely necessary," said Gebhart.
Germany is the European country with the most people infected with the COVID-19 strain, with 16 cases confirmed, but no fatalities.
The only coronavirus death in Europe to date was that of an 80-year-old Chinese tourist in France.
More than 68,000 people have now been infected worldwide since the virus strain was first detected in December -- but the number of new cases has begun to decline.