Germany, presented in the model of management of the pandemic coronavirus, announced on Tuesday that for the first time a reconfinement at the local level that affects more than 600,000 people in the face of the eruption of an important focus of contamination in a part of the biggest slaughterhouse in Europe.
Some 360 000 people living in the canton of Gütersloh, and 280 000 in the neighbor of Warendorf, in western countries, will again see their movements and activities strictly limited in a first time during a week to try to contain the spread of the virus, which already affects more than 1,550 people in a slaughterhouse in the region.
They will, however, not obliged to remain in their home.
“For the first time in North Rhine-Westphalia and in Germany, we’ll be back in a canton of the measures that applied a few weeks ago” before Germany starts in early may a déconfinement progressive, said Armin Laschet, the head of the region the most populated and the most industrialized in the country, during a press conference in Düsseldorf.
Limitation of contacts
The measure must in a first time to last until June 30 and will be translated by the strict limitation of contacts between people, the closure of bars, movie theaters, museums, fitness centers, swimming pools, and the prohibition of recreational activities in closed spaces.
The restaurants will remain open, but not welcome as customers of the same household, said Mr Laschet, a potential successor to Angela Merkel and candidate for the leadership of their party, the christian democratic Union (CDU) in December.
These measures, which involved ten days of the beginning of the school holidays in this region, have been greeted with relief by the population, even if, for some, the authorities should have acted earlier.
“Indeed, it is a little late otherwise he would not have had the spread”, regretted Brigitte Jäger, resident of Rheda-Wiedenbrück near Gütersloh, where is installed the slaughterhouse.
“I was expecting it much sooner,” says Ullrich Wegner while Steffen Schlüter predicted time “very hard” for commercial activity.
Germany, so far relatively untouched by the virus, is in shock since the discovery of a hearth material contamination in the slaughterhouse Tönnies.
It employs 6700 people, many of them come from Bulgaria and Romania and who are staying in shelters, where overcrowding is big.
On Monday evening, the local authorities have announced that the 1553 people were infected by the COVID-19 in the township of Gütersloh. Some 7,000 people have been placed under quarantine, 21 hospitalized, and 6 are in the care intensive.
All employees of this group has been placed under quarantine.
The tv channels were broadcasting images of people waiting behind barriers of metal at the entrance of the shelters for police officers, with masks and gloves, the supplying of food and drinks.
The appearance of several foci of contamination in slaughterhouses in Germany, but also in France, has reignited the debate around working conditions, regularly denounced by associations for the defense of the environment.
The particularly high number of cases in these places could be explained by the cold and by particulate aerosols, which remain longer in suspension in the air, has advanced the institut de veille sanitaire, the RKI.
Angela Merkel’s government has decided to tighten the safety rules in these slaughterhouses.
This reconfinement part, even locally, it also marks a major setback for the conservative leader of the region, Armin Laschet, a candidate to succeed Angela Merkel in 2021.
It was presented as the champion of déconfinement accelerated, entering in conflict with the chancellor, more cautious on the subject.
He has also already attracted a volley of criticism after he accused the Romanian and Bulgarian workers to be at the origin of this outbreak of contamination. Of remarks that were deemed unacceptable by the head of the diplomacy of bulgaria.
Since the emergence of the new coronavirus, Germany, but populated by more than 80 million people, recorded a relatively small number of infections: approximately 191 000, 8895 dead. But the infection rate has shot up these last few days.