İrem UZUN -TDO- German Health Minister Jens Spahn has tested positive for the coronavirus and is self-isolating, the health ministry in Berlin says. Spahn, 40, who is one of Germany's most high-profile faces in the country's fight to stem the spread of the coronavirus, had developed only cold symptoms so far, the ministry said.
The healthy ministry confirmed all those in contact with Spahn had been informed, though no members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet will be self-isolating — despite having met with the health minister during a meeting earlier on Wednesday. "The Federal Cabinet meets in compliance with hygiene and distance rules, which aim to ensure that even if a person who later tests positive were to participate, quarantining of other or even all participants would not be necessary," a government spokesman said. When informed of Spahn's diagnosis, Merkel wished him a speedy recovery, the spokesman confirmed. German Foreign Minster Heiko Maas expressed similar sentiments as he tweeted "We keep out fingers crossed for you". Other senior politicians, including President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Labour Minister Hubertus Heil, are in home quarantine after contact with infected people, though none has so far tested positive.
While Germany's infection rates are lower than in much of Europe, they have been accelerating and hit a daily record of 10,450 on Wednesday, according to the Robert Koch Institute, Germany's federal disease prevention agency.