Germany, where the number of people infected with the coronavirus has reached nearly 800 people, are trying to prevent an epidemic. To do this, clear administrative law was passed regarding what people who have come into contact with those who are infected with COVID-19 should follow.
According to new law, home quarantine is a mandatory measure that all citizens who have come into contact with the virus must undertake. Violation of this law not only carries a fine, but Germans also could face imprisonment for up to two years.
According to the Robert Koch Institute, 795 cases of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection have been reported in Germany. Most of the patients are in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, then Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. However, the risk of COVID-19 pneumonia caused by the virus remains low. There were no fatal cases in Germany.
According to the German Minister of Health, Jens Span, the main goal of the authorities is to prevent the further spread of coronavirus. There will be two ways to achieve this: sending people to quarantine for two weeks and reducing the number of mass events in areas where infection has been identified. However, the head of the Ministry of Health was pessimistic and described the current situation as a “global pandemic”.
Recommendations on quarantine
On quarantine, the German authorities, on the recommendation of the Robert Koch Institute, will require quarantine of people who came into contact with people infected with the virus. This includes as follows: they flew on the same plane as an infected person, they sat together in a movie theater or simply talked for even 15 minutes.
In this case, the compulsory isolation of a potential patient will have to be paid by the employer in full. People who suspect they might have been in contact with the infected should immediately call the local department of the Ministry of Health over the phone, regardless of whether they have any symptoms of the disease or not.
If a person notes any manifestations of a cold that may indirectly indicate a coronavirus, whether it is a cough, fever or shortness of breath, he should immediately consult a doctor. Further actions and treatment plan will be determined individually.
People who are sick should avoid contact with family members and stay at home for two weeks. If they have a dog that needs to be walked, it is recommended that the animal be given to friends for quarantine. You should also seek help from relatives so that they go to the store for groceries. Packages with purchases must be left in front of a closed door and in no case should they be handed over to an isolated person personally. Also, for those who come under suspicion, a daily temperature measurement is mandatory – in the morning and in the evening.
The Ministry of Health is firmly determined to verify compliance with the quarantine: at any time they may be called “under house arrest” by phone to inquire about his condition and make sure that he is at home. If no one picks up the phone, a representative of the department will go to the place. If no one is home, the police will step in. The quarantine violators are provided with a harsh measure: from a fine as well as up to two years in prison.
Also, residents of Germany are asked to observe safety measures: do not forget to wash your hands thoroughly and use disinfectants as often as possible. Among the recommendations is the limitation of bodily contact: a formal handshake is advised to temporarily be replaced by other forms of greeting. An example is given to German citizens in government, the German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer publicly refused to shake hands with Chancellor Angela Merkel, explaining this by the spread of coronavirus. The Minister will not greet any of his colleagues until the situation goes into decline. He also announced that the department is monitoring the situation with the spread of the disease. According to Seehofer, there is no talk of isolating the territories most susceptible to the spread of the virus, but all scenarios are possible.