German hospital under quarantine over more infections coronavirus variant

A traveller wears a face mask at a tram stop in Berlin. Germany, on Jan 20, 2021. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

BERLIN (REUTERS) - German health authorities put a Berlin hospital under quarantine after 20 patients and staff members tested positive for a more infectious variant of the coronavirus discovered in Britain and spreading fast around the world, officials said on Saturday (Jan 23).

The number of people at the Humboldt hospital infected with the more infectious B117 variant was likely to rise further in the coming days, a spokeswoman of public hospital operator Vivantes told Reuters.

The quarantine decision means that the Humboldt hospital in the German capital will not admit any new patients.

"New patients and emergencies will be redirected to other hospitals," the spokeswoman said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans on Thursday to stop complaining about the slow roll-out of a vaccine against Covid-19, and defended a decision to extend a lockdown as necessary to stem the more aggressive variant.

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