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Germany: Health Minister Jens Spahn tests positive for coronavirus

Jens Spahn tests positive for coronavirus
German Health Minister Jens Spahn during a conference.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn has tested positive for the coronavirus and has “cold-like symptoms,” his ministry said. He has gone into immediate isolation, though other cabinet members would not be doing likewise.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn has tested positive for the coronavirus, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

The ministry said that 40-year-old Spahn had immediately gone into isolation and that so far he has developed “cold-like symptoms.”

The health 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.

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“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.”

Spahn later tweeted his gratitude for the well-wishes he’s received, writing: “I hope everyone I’ve been in contact with stays healthy. Let’s all continue to look out for one another!”

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