In Brief: German Health Ministry confirms 12 cases of coronavirus, says country is well-prepared

German Health Minister Jens Spahn told ARD-Morgenmagazin on Monday that the coronavirus is being researched as quickly as possible, and Germany is well-prepared with the necessary intensive care units, isolation wards and equipment.

Photo by Dimitri Karastelev on Unsplash

 

 

Updated last at 9:40 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4.

As of Tuesday morning, the Federal Ministry of Health confirmed 12 cases of the coronavirus in Germany.

In an interview with ARD-Morgenmagazin on Monday before two additional cases of the illness were confirmed, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn said the first 10 patients were doing well. He also said Germany is prepared with the necessary intensive care units, isolation wards and equipment.

“The problem with this new coronavirus is that we do not know everything about it yet. Right now we know a few things, and there’s still some open questions – how it’s transmitted, how it develops, how dangerous it is and what are the health consequences,” Spahn said.

“The truth is that we do not know everything about it conclusively, but it is being researched as quickly as possible, including here at the Charité and other hospitals in Germany, Europe and the rest of the world.”

Spahn has announced that he will hold a telephone conference with his G7 counterparts to coordinate strategies against the spread of the virus.

The ministry said as of Monday, there have been 17,400 reported cases worldwide of the virus and 360 deaths. The World Health Organization’s last report, updated on Feb. 3, said there are cases of the coronavirus in 23 countries outside of China.

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Germany’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture wants to take action against what they call unfair retail practices and dumping prices for food.

A summit held at the Federal Chancellery on Monday brought together top politicians and stakeholders from the agricultural and food retail industries to address the price of groceries and the pressures facing German farmers.

In a statement, Minister Julia Klöckner said supermarket chains have an “ethical and moral responsibility.” She pointed to pricing practices like dumping, or selling products far below production cost.

“Two kilograms of apples for 1 euro and 11 cents?” Klöckner asked to illustrate her point. “How is that supposed to work?”

At the meeting, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the need for “fair relationships” between the various stakeholders and to strengthen regional production. The chancellor made clear she’s against the government imposing minimum prices for food.

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While Berlin schools are on winter break this week, construction is being carried out on the S5, S7, and S75 lines. This break in service will mainly affect passengers in the eastern part of the city.

Until next Monday at 1:30 a.m., no trains are running between Lichtenberg and Springpfuhl or between Lichtenberg and Wuhletal. Replacement buses are running, and Deutsche Bahn recommends rerouting with the U5 when possible.

This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk. This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.

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