January 31, 2020 / 2:15 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Child becomes Germany's sixth coronavirus patient

(Adds evacuations, vaccine, context)

BERLIN, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Germany on Friday confirmed a sixth case of coronavirus, identifying the victim as the child of a male employee at a company in Bavaria where a total of five workers had tested positive.

The child and the other five patients who contracted the virus that was first detected in China last month and has since spread around the globe are in stable condition, according to doctors at the hospital treating them.

The German government said on Friday that German pharma company CureVac AG and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) were working together to develop a vaccine for the virus, which has killed more than 200 people.

“If we want to contain this illness then it is good if we have a vaccine in a relatively short time and we assume this will be in a few months,” Research Minister Anja Karliczek told reporters.

Germany sent a military plane to China on Friday to evacuate more than 100 people - German citizens and their family members - none of whom are infected with the coronavirus or suspected of having contracted it.

The plane is due to land back in Germany on Saturday and the evacuees will be kept in quarantine for two weeks, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.

All five adults who had tested positive in Germany work for auto parts supplier Webasto and contracted coronavirus after a colleague from China visited the firm.

The factory has been temporarily closed and employees have been advised to work from home.

Dr. Martin Hoch, head of the Bavarian task force against infectious diseases, said the health risk to the general public was low given that all patients were exhibiting mild symptoms. (Reporting by Thomas Seythal Writing by Joseph Nasr Editing by Michelle Martin)

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