A spike in coronavirus infections linked to a slaughterhouse in Germany's western region prompted officials to imposed new lockdown measures on Tuesday to make sure the cluster doesn’t spread in the community.
More than 1,550 people have tested positive for coronavirus at the Toennies slaughterhouse in Rheda-Wiedenbrueck and thousands more workers and family members have been put under quarantine in a bid to halt the outbreak.
The company has blamed its workforce, which are mostly immigrants from Eastern Europe, for bringing the virus, while union officials said that the outbreak is due to the terrible working and living conditions employees faced under loosely regulated sub-contractors, reports AP.
Armin Laschet, the governor of North Rhine-Westphalia state, said people in Guetersloh and parts of a neighbouring county for the next week will face the same kind of restrictions that existed across Germany during the early stages of the pandemic.
The restriction include limiting the number of people who can meet in public to those from a single household or two people from separate households, Laschet said.
“We will order a lockdown for the whole of Guetersloh county,” he told reporters Tuesday.
Prior to the Toennies outbreak, Germany had been widely praised for its handling of the pandemic. Intensive testing, tracing and hospital preparation measures tamped down the outbreak and kept Germany’s death toll five times smaller than Britain’s.
Germany has seen 8,899 confirmed virus deaths and about 192,000 cases.