Jens Spahn (CDU) asks himself the questions that every citizen infected with the corona virus asks: where did I get it? What contacts have I had?
“We don’t know yet,” emphasizes the possible location of the infection in his environment. The incubation period is about a week and, according to his spokesman, the federal health minister is not tested regularly. But after symptoms of a cold, he had a test and got the result on Wednesday: positive.
In this crisis, Spahn has so far issued the cautious warning to observe the AHA rules (distance, hygiene, everyday mask) everywhere. As one of the key figures in controlling the pandemic, he is now sick with Covid-19 himself and immediately fell into isolation.
In the evening, he reported on Twitter: “I am in isolation at home and recovering at the moment with only cold symptoms.” He wishes everyone he had contact with that they stay healthy. “Let’s keep taking care of each other!”
Cabinet should not be quarantined
Spahn had attended the cabinet meeting that morning. Photos show Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the ministers, including Spahn, entering the meeting room wearing a mouth and nose mask. Then they take off the masks at the table. Does this mean that the entire cabinet, including the Chancellor, should now be quarantined?
A government spokesman stressed at the request of Tagesspiegel: No. The federal cabinet adheres to hygiene and spacing rules, which are designed so that “a quarantine of other or even all participants is unnecessary” even with a positive corona test. Conditions in the Chancellery and in the International Conference Room, where cabinet meetings take place, “have been specially optimized with regard to infection protection and have been monitored by the Berlin-Mitte Health Service”.
[Jeden Morgen informieren wir Sie, liebe Leserinnen und Leser, in unserer Morgenlage über die politischen Entscheidungen, Nachrichten und Hintergründe. Zur kostenlosen Anmeldung geht es hier.]
AfD politician etches against Spahn
While cabinet members, leading union politicians and colleagues from other parties sent hearty wishes for a well-being, Bundestag AfD member Stephan Protschka wrote on Twitter that this was “ the next proof that both masks don’t work ” or that Jens Spahn just isn’t adheres to its guidelines. . “I claim the mask requirement doesn’t do anything against Corona.”
Not a word of a recovery wish on the part of the AfD board member. SPD health politician Karl Lauterbach, on the other hand, emphasizes in view of Spahn: “I know how careful he was always himself.” The fact that Spahn was infected just goes to show “how big the risk of infection is for everyone today.”
“Ministers are systemically important”
Lauterbach believes it is correct that the cupboard does not have to be quarantined and tested immediately. “People are systemically important. Ministers must continue to work with masks, ”he told the“ Rheinische Post ”. But he demanded: “It is time that the cabinet members are regularly tested for Corona.” Regular means every two to three days.
Most recently, the Chairman of the Constitutional Protection Office Thomas Haldenwang and the rest of the top of the Internal Secret Service had also tested positive. But now is the first time a cabinet member was hit. Federal Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) is currently in quarantine due to a warning via the Corona app.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas (SPD) and Minister of Economy Peter Altmaier (CDU) had temporarily isolated themselves at the end of September after making risky contacts. In March, Chancellor Merkel was quarantined at home for almost two weeks after having been vaccinated by a doctor who soon after turned out to have a corona infection. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also went into quarantine on Saturday. The reason was the positive corona test by a bodyguard. Two tests have since been negative.
[Wenn Sie die wichtigsten News aus Berlin, Deutschland und der Welt live auf Ihr Handy haben wollen, empfehlen wir Ihnen unsere runderneuerte App, die Sie hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen können.]
Chancellor Angela Merkel before the cabinet meeting, a little later came Spahn’s Corona diagnosis Photo: imago images / Jens Schicke
Ultimately, if the course remains mild, Spahn can also work from the home office. But the case shows the difficulty of this second wave. So far the course has been predominantly mild, although the number of corona cases in intensive care has been noticeably increasing for several weeks.
But the outbreak is diffuse as far as the federal government – so far no one can explain why the Berchtesgadener Land has become Germany’s main hotspot with a regional lockdown. Tracking Spahn’s contacts – there are hundreds of contacts in a week – will work anyway.
In some Berlin districts this system seems to have collapsed due to the amount of new infections, there are positively infected people who no longer report to the health service. And if they don’t discover the contacts and make phone calls themselves, the virus can spread through them uncontrollably.