At least 107 people have been found to be infected with the new coronavirus after some of them attended Sunday services at a church in Frankfurt two weeks ago, according to German officials, highlighting the growing risk of new outbreaks of the virus as Germany loosens restrictions on public gatherings.
Local residents of Frankfurt, Germany’s financial centre, and surrounding communities became infected during religious services held by the Evangelical Christian Baptist Congregation in Frankfurt on Sunday, May 10, city officials said.
According to Rene Gottschalk, head of the German city’s local health authority, another 150 people are being assessed after they had contact with those who have tested positive.
The service at the Evangelical Christian Baptist Church was attended by 180 people, Gottschalk said.
Many of the infections occurred after worshippers left the service.
The Frankfurt church community initially insisted that all hygiene and distancing measures currently in place to curb the pandemic were adhered to, but a statement posted on its website on Monday admitted to shortcomings.
“In retrospect, it would be appropriate for us to wear protective mouth-and-nose covers during the service and to refrain from singing together,” it said.
Places of worship have gradually reopened in Germany over the past month, along with various other areas of public life, due to gains made in reducing the rate of infection.
Source: wsj.com with files from dpa/NAN