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Corona virus in Bonn: Public health department sets up hotline

Public health department sets up hotline : City prepares for corona virus in Bonn

So far, there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Bonn. But due to a growing number of inquiries, the public health department has established a hotline.

After the first corona virus deaths in Italy were reported, the fear of infection is also growing in Germany. The city of Bonn, however, considers itself well prepared for the care of infectious patients, according to a quickly scheduled press conference in the city hall on Tuesday, at which the police and fire departments were also present.

The preparedness is for all serious infectious diseases, including the influenza virus, norovirus and rotavirus, said Susanne Engels, deputy head of the city health department. So far there is not a single suspected case or a confirmed case of corona virus infection in Bonn. The health department is in close contact with all hospitals, doctors' practices and the emergency services. As well, they regularly exchange information with the State Center for Health of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Ministry for Labor, Health and Social Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia, and the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin.

Since the health department has already received a constant stream of enquiries about possible corona infections from people who have returned from business trips in China or who have just returned from a holiday in Italy, the city has set up a hotline. It can be reached Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. by calling 0228/775351 or 0228/775352.

The police and fire department also feel well positioned, as their spokespersons Michael Beyer and Frank Frenser emphasized. "At the moment, no special measures are planned", Frenser said. As a standard, the fire department is always prepared for people with dangerous infectious diseases. The warehouses are also filled with hygiene articles such as face masks which are appropriate for the viruses and bacteria. Beyer made similar comments for the police, who also have their own pandemic plan ready.

On behalf of the city's public order authority, head of the department Günter Dick explained that only when the situation "becomes more serious than serious" and the public health department determines that there is a need to do so, could entire districts of Bonn be closed in order to stem the spread of the corona virus. Before that, however, numerous other measures would take effect, Engels made clear. Such a drastic measure would only be possible in cooperation with the state and federal health authorities and the Robert Koch Institute.

City spokeswoman Monika Hörig added that the city is currently in the process of thinking up various scenarios, such as evacuations, in order to be prepared for the possible emergency of an outbreak in Bonn. Up-to-date information on the topic can be found on the homepage of the Robert Koch Institute (www.rki.de) and the city of Bonn (www.bonn.de).

Orig. text: Lisa Inhoffen

Translation: ck