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At least 18 people infected: UK variant outbreak in two Bonn hospitals

At least 18 people infected : UK variant outbreak in two Bonn hospitals

There have been outbreaks of the particularly contagious UK coronavirus variant in both Johanniter hospitals. Half of all new coronavirus cases in Bonn are now from the UK variant. The city reports that there have been "individual cases" of the virus in twelve kindergartens and schools.

The UK coronavirus variant is becoming more prevalent in Bonn. On Thursday, the city of Bonn reported 314 cases of coronavirus mutations since Jan. 28. Two of them were the Brazilian variant. Of the 179 new cases recorded between March 1 and March 7, 93 were caused by mutations. This is a rate of 51.9 percent.

The UK variant, which is more contagious than the original virus, is also circulating in hospitals. In addition to the Waldkrankenhaus in Bad Godesberg, the Johanniterkrankenhaus in Gronau is also affected - with a total of at least 18 people infected in both hospitals. The city administration confirmed this to GA on Thursday in response to an inquiry. Already at the end of February, a patient had been admitted to a unit for internal medicine at the Johanniter hospital. That patient later tested positive for coronavirus, confirmed Anja Wallau, hospital hygienist. According to the city, another patient and a hospital staff member subsequently became infected. "As of today, we have no patients at Johanniter Hospital who have tested positive," Wallau said Thursday afternoon.

At Waldkrankenhaus, on the other hand, patients who contracted the UK variant at the hospital are still being cared for in an isolation ward. Besides the already known outbreak of Covid-19 in the urology department - seven patients and five employees, according to the city - there was another outbreak in an ear, nose and throat unit at the hospital, which is also run by the Johanniter. The first patient there tested positive at the end of last week, Wallau reported. Two more patients subsequently contracted the virus. All three have already been able to leave the hospital. There is no connection between the two outbreaks.

German hospitals implement strict hygiene concepts according to the specifications of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). RKI standards apply as soon as a case of Covid-19 occurs in the hospital. Patients are isolated, employees in contact category 1 are sent into quarantine, and all affected rooms are disinfected. "We test all employees in such a unit every day before they go on duty, even if almost all of them have already been vaccinated," explains hospital hygienist Wallau. Within 24 hours, the names of infected individuals are reported to the health authorities, and lists of "immediate" contacts are forwarded to the authorities so they can identify, inform and quarantine them. "It's a fluid situation," Wallau emphasizes. "That's why speed is important. Using appropriate measures, a lot can be achieved to counter the virus." In the Johanniter-run hospitals in Bonn, there have been "smaller outbreaks every now and then" since the beginning of the pandemic.

Variant already detected at the beginning of February at the Helios Klinikum at Hardtberg

The UK variant had already been detected on February 2 in the Helios Klinikum Bonn/Rhein-Sieg in Hardtberg (seven persons), but neither the city administration nor the hospital had informed the public. The outbreak only became known on February 12 through GA research.

The incidence rate in Bonn remained at 61 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days on Thursday. The city reported "individual cases”of coronavirus in twelve kindergartens and schools, without giving details. 1,075 people are in quarantine, including 164 people with the UK variant. The number of Covid19—related deaths rose to 199, with three more deaths reported: an 82-year-old man and a 92-year-old and 89-year-old woman, according to the city press office.

(Orig. text: Andreas Baumann / Translation: Carol Kloeppel)