Second German minister quarantines as daily Covid-19 cases top 2,000

A second German cabinet has gone into quarantine after being exposed to a person infected with the coronavirus, amid a rise in cases in the country.

Second German minister quarantines as daily Covid-19 cases top 2,000
Altmeier speaking in Berlin earlier in September. Photo: DPA

Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, who hosted a gathering of EU trade ministers on Monday, tweeted that “an employee of a minister present at the meeting in Berlin tested positive for corona.”

“As a precautionary measure, I went into quarantine at home,” he tweeted late Wednesday.

Altmaier added that a first Covid-19 test had come back negative and that he was doing “very well.”

It comes after Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Wednesday self-isolated after one of his security staff tested positive.

READ ALSO: German Foreign Minister quarantines over coronavirus exposure fear

Maas also returned a negative test.

At the height of the pandemic in March, Chancellor Angela Merkel quarantined for 14 days after seeing a doctor who tested positive for the coronavirus, but all of her subsequent tests came back negative.

Although Germany has fared better than many of its neighbours in managing the pandemic so far, cases are climbing again, with the number of daily new infections now reaching heights last seen in the spring.

On Thursday, Germany reported 2,143 new cases and 19 more deaths, according
to the disease control agency Robert Koch Institute.

It is the third time in a month that the number of new cases has exceed 2,000 in a day.

On August 22nd there were 2,034 new cases, and on Saturday September 19th the highest number of new cases (2,297) since April were registered. 

“After a temporary stabilisation of the number of cases, a further increase in transmissions in the German population is currently being observed”, said the RKI.

Tighter measures to control the spread of the virus are starting to come into force in some parts of the country.

Munich — Germany's third-largest city — has made face masks compulsory in some busy outdoor spaces and is considering a targeted alcohol ban.

Germany late on Wednesday added a slew of popular destinations, including
Copenhagen, Dublin and the United Arab Emirates, to its list of foreign locations that require travellers to self-isolate or get tested when returning to Germany.

READ ALSO: Germany declares coronavirus 'high risk' areas in more than half of EU countries

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German Chancellor Scholz tests positive for Covid after Gulf tour

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has tested positive for the coronavirus and is displaying mild symptoms after returning from a tour of the Gulf, his spokesman said Monday.

German Chancellor Scholz tests positive for Covid after Gulf tour

The 64-year-old Social Democrat is isolating in his apartment in the chancellery, and will attend meetings online, spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said.

At the weekend, he visited Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar on a hunt for new energy sources after Russia cut gas supplies amid tensions over the Ukraine war.

He signed a deal Sunday for the UAE to supply natural gas and diesel to Germany.

READ ALSO: UAE to supply Germany with gas and diesel 

Meanwhile Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, also of the SPD, announced via Twitter on Monday that she had tested positive for Covid.