Germany expanding Covid quarantine rules, making global headlines, announcing detain people for breaching quarantine rules under the Disease Protection Act, which passed by the German Bundestag last March and renewed in November.
To heighten the tension, a mutant strain of coronavirus. different to those originating in the UK, South Africa and Brazil, has been discovered in Germany.
Health officials said the variant was identified in Bavarian hospital patients, but it isn’t yet known how transmissible it is.
“At the moment we have discovered a small point mutation… and it is absolutely not clear whether it will be of clinical relevance,” said Clemens Stockklausner, deputy medical director at the Charité university hospital in Berlin
“We have to wait for the complete sequencing.”
Germans violating the current quarantine rules will be detained in hospitals and refugee camps as the death toll rises in the country’s coronavirus hotspots.
One facility was described: “Baden-Württemberg in south-west Germany will use two hospital rooms to detain repeat offenders, who will be guarded by police.
“In Brandenburg, authorities will detain a section of a refugees centre, while Schleswig-Holstein will use an area within a juvenile detention centre.”
Meissen is among the worst hit by the pandemic in the country, along with other places across old east Germany that are generally poorer and older.
The country’s disease control center reported 11,369 newly confirmed infections and 989 deaths, for an overall death toll of 47,622.
Chancellor Angela Merkel considers imposing a “mega-lockdown” and suspending public transport after sparking a public backlash in the UK by calling “mutant” Covid the “British virus.”
Merkel spoke to reporters in Berlin: “All our efforts to contain the spread of the virus face a serious threat.
“Now is the time to guard against the danger posed by this mutated virus.”
“While individual instances of new variants have been found in Germany, scientists have said it isn’t dominant yet, she added.
“There’s still time, so to speak, to contain the risk,” said Merkel.