Germany to fly out remaining citizens from Wuhan

The German government is planning to repatriate any remaining citizens and their relatives still in the locked-down Chinese city of Wuhan at the heart of the coronavirus scare, the Foreign Ministry told dpa on Thursday.

There were still “a few people” who had checked in only after the repatriation flight on Saturday, or who had not reached the airport on time, a spokesman said.

An earlier report from news magazine Der Spiegel put the number of Germans in the city at around 20.

The remaining Germans may now be able to fly out with their relatives on a plane shuttling a larger group of British citizens at the weekend. They would immediately be placed in quarantine in a Berlin hospital, the news magazine reported.

Earlier the health authorities in the southern state of Bavaria said that the wife of a man infected with the coronavirus in Germany had also become sick, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the country to 13.

Eleven of the cases are linked to automotive parts supplier Webasto. The remaining cases are of two people who were flown out of Wuhan over the weekend. They are being treated in Frankfurt.

In the latest case, the 38-year-old wife of a Webasto employee, has tested positive. Two of the couple’s children have also caught the virus.

The virus had not been shown in their third child, an infant, Stefan Paech, the director of the hospitals of the company dealing with the infections, said. The entire family is in quarantine in the company’s Trostberg hospital.

Paech said it had been assumed from the start that the entire family would contract the virus. The family remained together as the illness was in general mild in the case of young people, he added.

Under the circumstances, the family was doing well, Paech said.

Webasto has 13,400 employees and 12 sites in China. Its biggest factory is in Wuhan, the city where the coronavirus first emerged in December. Webasto’s location was visited last month by an infected staff member from China, who only began experiencing symptoms during her flight back home.

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