1. GA-English

Ermekeil barracks in Bonn: 45 infectet with corona virus

45 cases in Ermekeil barracks in total : Security guards in Bonn refugee accommodation also infected with Corona

In the refugee accommodation in the Ermekeil barracks in Bonn, the number of Corona cases has risen to 45. Meanwhile, the district government defended its information strategy of first informing residents and staff in the accommodation.

The number of positively tested corona cases at the country's initial reception facility (EAE) in the former Ermekeil barracks has risen to 45. Among them are three employees of the facility operator DRK Nordrhein and two security personnel. On Monday, district president Gisela Walsken spoke with the GA to defend herself against criticism that the district government was blocking information about the corona cases in the EAE.

Only on Friday, the GA had learned from employees of the DRK Nordrhein that there were 27 confirmed corona cases in the emergency shelter in the southern part of the city. Upon request (of) to the district government, they confirmed this number. Already on Wednesday, the public health department of the city of Bonn had imposed an entrance and exit ban for the residents of the EAE in the Südstadt. Since Tuesday, when there was the first confirmed case in the refugee accommodation, the facility has been under quarantine, Vanessa Nolte, spokeswoman of the district government, said on Monday.

When asked by the district government on Sunday why she was not commenting on the corona-infected cases in the shelter until asked, Nolte said: "Every positive test result causes fear and anxiety within the shelter. The transmission of the test results and thus a restructuring of the accommodation must be controlled and also carried out psychologically. Priority transmission of the results to the press and then to the residents is not acceptable.

Many nationalities and different languages make communication difficult

Walsken backed up this statement on Monday, saying that the district government had indeed intended to inform the public. However, he said that it was now the urgent wish of accommodation providers that first the persons themselves and their relatives be informed in the event of a positive test. This is much more difficult, unlike in old people's homes, for example, because people from many different nations and with different languages live in the EAE. "Therefore we have decided not to release individual results.“

She reminded of the refugee accommodation in Euskirchen, where there was also a large number of confirmed corona cases and results had obviously been communicated to the outside world too early. "There there was great unrest among the residents, up to and including making police involvement necessary," Walsken said. The residents had become frightened and had partly taken action against infected residents. The EAE Bonn had wanted to avoid this. The situation there is "very well under control", Walsken said.

"The situation is calm and stable"

Accommodation manager Daniel Schult expressed his satisfaction with the measures taken so far: "The situation is calm and stable," he said. After initial difficulties, the residents have now all shown themselves to be cooperative and followed the instructions on hygiene regulations. Protective masks had been in short supply for a short time. Thanks to self-sewn masks from the Bonn Opera among others, all residents could be equipped with masks, the staff anyway. Schult and Nike Koloniaris, head of the district government, announced that they also wanted to talk to residents about the situation in the EAE.

Original text: Lisa Inhoffen

Translation: Mareike Graepel