June 24, 2020 / 6:53 AM / 22 days ago

German minister stresses coronavirus risk despite low infection numbers

Germany's Health Minister Jens Spahn looks on at the start of the the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany June 17, 2020. Tobias Schwarz/Pool via REUTERS/Files

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Health Minister Jens Spahn on Wednesday stressed that the coronavirus remains a risk after the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia on Tuesday put two municipalities back into lockdown following an outbreak at a meatpacking plant.

Guetersloh and the neighbouring town of Warendorf became the first areas in Germany to fall back under lockdown measures that had been gradually lifted since the end of April.

“We’re seeing that if we make it too easy for this virus, it spreads very, very quickly again - we’re not only seeing that in Guetersloh - we’ve also seen it in Goettingen, in Leer, in Bremen and at churches and family celebrations,” Spahn told German broadcaster ARD.

“That’s why it’s important to keep making clear that although the numbers were low over many weeks, this virus is still there,” Spahn said.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Paul Carrel

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