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  • Paramedics prepare for collecting COVID-19 tests from employees of Toennies, in a quarantined building in the district Suerenheide in Verl, Germany, June 23, 2020.

    Paramedics prepare for collecting COVID-19 tests from employees of Toennies, in a quarantined building in the district Suerenheide in Verl, Germany, June 23, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 23 June 2020
Opinion

Local outbreaks have increased the rate of coronavirus replication in recent days, health authorities said.

Two municipalities in Germany's western state of North Rhine-Westphalia were forced to close until June 30, after a COVID-19 outbreak in a meat packing plant.

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Guetersloh, home to about 100,000 people, and the neighboring city of Warendorf are now the first German townships to have, once again strict confinement measures.

In a meat processing plant in Guetersloh over 1,500 workers have tested positive for the disease, along with some of their relatives and 24 people with no connection to the plant.

Some of those workers live in Warendorf, about 30 km west.

The measures had been gradually lifted since the end of April. Now both areas have closed down bars, museums, galleries, cinemas, sports halls, gyms and swimming pools.

"We will only lift preventive measures when it is safe," state governor Armin Laschet said at a press conference.

Germany's prime ministers have agreed to act locally when possible to suppress the virus.

"Local outbreaks have increased the rate of coronavirus replication in recent days," the Robert Koch Institute for public health's director Lothar Wieler commented.

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