February 26, 2020 / 5:18 PM / a month ago

Germany is at start of coronavirus epidemic - health minister

BERLIN, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Germany is at the beginning of a coronavirus epidemic after new cases sprung up which can no longer be traced to the virus’s original source in China, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Wednesday.

He urged health ministries in Germany’s federal states as well as hospitals and employers to review their pandemic planning.

“The infection chains are partially no longer trackable, and that is a new thing,” he told a news conference. “Large numbers of people have had contact with the patients, and that is a big change to the 16 patients we had until now where the chain could be traced back to the origin in China.”

Reporting by Thomas Escritt Editing by Gareth Jones

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