German health minister warns of second virus wave

German Health Minister Jens Spahn speaks during a press conference with the head of the Robert Koch Institute for disease control on the situation in Germany amid the new coronavirus pandemic on April 17, 2020 in Berlin.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn urged citizens to maintain COVID-19 protective measures, in particular during the summer holiday season, and stressed that “the threat of a second wave is real.”

Although COVID-19 infection numbers in Germany were comparatively low, Spahn on Monday warned against underestimating the situation. “We should not lull ourselves into a false sense of security.”

New COVID-19 infections in Germany increased by 159 within one day to 198,963, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced on Monday, while the death toll rose by only one to a total of 9,064, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the RKI daily situation report for Sunday, scattered outbreaks of COVID-19 were still recorded in meat-processing plants, old people”s and nursing homes, hospitals, as well as family celebrations, religious events or in facilities for asylum seekers and refugees.

Spahn specifically warned of the danger from people”s increased mobility during the holiday season when many Germans were travelling.

Over the weekend, German media published pictures of German tourists celebrating on the Spanish holiday island of Mallorca without adhering to COVID-19 rules. Many were not wearing face masks and did not keep sufficient distance.

Commenting on the pictures, Spahn said that he did not want to be a “spoilsport” but warned urgently that the COVID-19 crisis was not the right time for such behaviour.

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