Germany’s center for disease prevention, the Robert-Koch-Institute, has called a general rise in Covid-19 infections in the country “very disturbing” and says it is “monitoring the situation very closely.”
The spike comes as authorities in Bavaria are working to contain a large-scale outbreak among seasonal workers on a vegetable farm in the town of Mamming. Authorities announced on Sunday that 174 laborers -- about a third of all seasonal workers on site -- had tested positive for the virus.
At a press conference Sunday, Bavaria’s health minister, Melanie Huml said that local authorities have placed the farm, which employed seasonal workers from Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Ukraine, on complete lockdown. The workers who tested positive had been separated from the rest of the laborers, and local police and a private security firm were monitoring the quarantine, Huml added.
Farming "test offensive": As part of a new “test offensive,” Huml also announced that workers in other agricultural companies in Bavaria will be tested. “The goal of the new test program is to prevent large outbreaks like the current one in Mamming. At the same time we want to increase the health protection of the workers there,” she added.
Huml also announced that all of the around 3,300 residents of Mamming will be able to get voluntary coronavirus tests free of charge.
The Robert-Koch-Institute said Saturday it recorded 815 and 781 infections on subsequent days at the end of last week.
“Before, the number was considerably lower around 500 new cases per day,” the institute said in a press release. It blamed the rise mostly on a higher number of larger gatherings in Germany, but also on people returning from holidays abroad.
“A further deterioration of the situation urgently needs to be prevented. This can only be achieved if the entire population continues to cooperate, for instance by always maintaining distancing and hygiene rules,” the institute said.
The seven day reproductive rate in Germany is currently 1.16, while the four day r-rate is 1.22, according to the Robert-Koch-Institute