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Two coronavirus cases in Königswinter refugee accommodation

Tests were positive : Two coronavirus cases in Königswinter refugee accommodation

The town of Königswinter and the district health department have quarantined 123 people in the Haus Katharina, after two residents tested positive for Sars-CoV-2.

Rainer Meilicke, head of the district health department, currently sees the problem in the region as being mainly in infection chains “within closed systems”. The coronavirus has now also arrived in one of the two refugee shelters in Königswinter, which contains 123 people, all of whom are in quarantine.

If one of the refugees living in the shelter is carrying Sars-CoV-2 and has no symptoms, he is passing it on unconsciously. “In the Königswinter shelter, we realised that the families living there have such close ties with each other that we have to regard the people there as a unit”, Meilicke explained. The quarantine order issued by the authorities is then extended by 14 days for each new case.

One case on Wednesday, another on Thursday

In the former Haus Katharina, two residents tested positive for the virus. “On Wednesday we had our first case”, said mayor Peter Wirtz in a press conference.

“In coordination with the public health department, the affected person and three of his roommates were put into quarantine, and none of them has been allowed to leave the room since then.” Then a second case was confirmed on Thursday.

Fence erected around the property

As a result, the room with two inhabitants was immediately quarantined and subsequently the entire house containing 123 people in total was quarantined. A fence was erected around the property and security was strengthened.

“After the second case, we asked the Rhein-Sieg district health department for a new assessment of the situation. At noon we were advised to quarantine the entire house”, explained Heike Jüngling, head of the crisis management team of the city of Königswinter.

She also said that the city considers it sensible to seal off the entire house, but that it is bound by the stipulations of the district health authority.

Both patients are employed

In the first case, the accommodation manager had noticed the man’s cough. The family doctor was called in and prescribed the test. Heike Jüngling said “The man was brought for the test on Wednesday under all security precautions.”

The second affected person had a fever and tested positive on Thursday. “They both have jobs and have different nationalities.” Their contacts must now be traced.

Jüngling said “we have asked the Rhein-Sieg district to set up a mobile swab centre. The public health department will conduct the tests at short notice.”

On Thursday, the first task was to inform the residents, including some children, about the situation. Staff from the social welfare office went from door to door to deliver the order for the two-week quarantine and individually translated the situation to the residents, who belong to a total of 30 different nationalities. A note with the basics in each local language was provided.

The residents are not allowed to leave their rooms and may only visit the kitchen in pairs. The residents in the two rooms with Covid-19 sufferers must stay in the rooms.

Catering will be provided and necessary purchases will be organised by the town. “Some took the news calmly; others were frightened”, reported Jüngling.


Current figures from the Rhein-Sieg district

So far, 1,015 people in the Rhein-Sieg district have tested positive for Sars-CoV-2. More than 3,000 people are in domestic quarantine (as of 16 April, 6 p.m.). 559 people have recovered and 27 people have died of Covid-19. Here are the figures for the deceased by commune: Alfter (1), Bad Honnef (1), Bornheim (1), Eitorf (3), Lohmar (1), Meckenheim (1), Much (1), Rheinbach (1), Sankt Augustin (13), Swisttal (2) and Troisdorf (1), Windeck (1). For the municipalities, the district indicates the total number of confirmed corona cases and the number of people currently infected: Alfter (confirmed cases 54/currently 10), Bad Honnef (68/29), Bornheim (93/55), Eitorf (37/11), Hennef (69/23), Königswinter (48/18), Lohmar (67/33), Meckenheim (61/24), Much (21/4), Neunkirchen-Seelscheid (29/8), Niederkassel (37/11), Rheinbach (50/24), Ruppichteroth (10/2), Sankt Augustin (133/83), Siegburg (73/25), Swisttal (26/9), Troisdorf (101/44), Wachtberg (29/14), Windeck (9/2).

(Original text: Dylan Cem Akalin and Roswitha Oschmann, translation John Chandler)