Over 100 people contract COVID-19 at Church

Dozens of people who attended at a Baptist church service in Frankfurt on 10 May are being sought by German authorities as they may have been exposed to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

So far more than 107 people tested positive for the virus, six of whom have been taken to hospital.

Those at the service followed social distancing rules and disinfected the building ahead of the service.

Each of Germany’s 16 states determines its own lockdown exit plans. Hesse, where Frankfurt located, relaxed restrictions on worship on 1 May. However, they must follow official social distancing and hygiene rules.

These rules expect those attending services to stay 1.5m apart and to be provided with hand sanitiser.

“This situation shows how important it is that all of us stay alert and avoid becoming careless, especially now during the easing of restrictions. The virus is still there and will spread,” Hesse state health minister Kai Klose said.

He said authorities hoped that identifying those who attended the Baptist church service would help prevent others being infected.

It is not clear how many of the 107 people who have tested positive for the virus attended the service, or whether the tally includes people who were infected by those who did. One report suggests about 40 of those infected were at the service, though this has not been confirmed yet.

At least 16 of the people infected lived in Hanau, east of Frankfurt. As a result, the town has called off a prayer gathering that Muslim leaders had organised for this Sunday.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has risen to 178,281, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The Institute also reported the death toll has risen from 8216 to 8,247.



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