New coronavirus cases in Germany, one man in critical condition

BERLIN (Reuters) – A 25-year-old man living in the southern German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg has tested positive for coronavirus after a trip to Milan, and another man further north is in a critical condition with the disease, authorities said on Tuesday.

The Baden-Wuerttemberg health ministry said the man in the southern state, who had likely become infected during his visit to Italy, had contacted authorities after coming down with flu-like symptoms. He will be treated in isolation, it added.

“People in close contact with the patient will be kept in home isolation and be asked about their state of health every day,” it said. “As soon as a contact person develops symptoms, they will also be isolated in hospital.”

In North Rhine-Westphalia, the state health ministry said the man there was admitted to hospital on Monday afternoon with symptoms of severe pneumonia.

“The patient is in a critical condition and is currently being isolated in the intensive care unit,” the ministry said.

“The patient’s wife is also being treated as an in-patient with symptoms of a viral disease. Her condition is currently stable. The diagnosis on whether she has also been infected with the virus is still pending,” it added in a statement.

Schools and kindergartens in the Heinsberg district of North Rhine-Westphalia, where the man is from, will remain closed on Wednesday as a precaution, the ministry said.

The new confirmed cases take to 18 the total number of coronavirus cases in Germany. There have been no deaths.

Car supplier Webasto said last month a Chinese employee had tested positive for the virus upon returning to China following a visit to the company headquarters near Munich. The employee apparently infected several German colleagues during the visit.

The new coronavirus, believed to have originated from illegal wildlife sold in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, has infected some 80,000 people and killed more than 2,600 people, most of them in China.

Neighbouring Switzerland confirmed its first case of the coronavirus earlier on Tuesday. Austria also confirmed its first two cases on Tuesday.

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