Carnival-going German couple contract coronavirus, authorities fear it has spread
A German couple who have contracted the coronavirus had taken part in local carnival celebrations and also visited the Netherlands in the 10 days before they were diagnosed, officials said on Wednesday, Reuters reports.
Authorities in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia are now racing to stop the coronavirus spreading and are tracking down people the couple have been in contact with in their home district of Heinsberg.
“It’s a rather Sisyphean task,” district administrator Stephan Pusch said. “We’re assuming that they were out with the symptoms for ten days.”
The man, a 47-year-old entrepreneur, is now seriously ill and requires mechanical ventilation. His wife, a kindergarten teacher aged 46, has pneumonia and fever but her case is not as serious as her husband’s, physician Dieter Haeussinger told a news conference in Duesseldorf on Wednesday.
It is not known how the couple contracted the virus, which is quickly spreading around the world after breaking out in the Chinese metropolis of Wuhan late last year.
The couple attended carnival celebrations in the village of Langbroich and also went on a short trip to the Netherlands, authorities said.
Kindergartens and schools in the area are shut until Monday and citizens have been asked to refrain from large gatherings, Pusch said. Authorities also have closed two doctors’ offices that the man had visited.