General view of the entrance to the prayer room of Evangelical Christian Baptist church, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Frankfurt, Germany May 24, 2020. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German authorities are trying to trace everyone who attended a church service in Frankfurt this month after more than 107 people tested positive for the coronavirus.
Churches in the state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is located, have been able to hold services since May 1 following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, provided they adhere to official social distancing and hygiene rules.
“This situation shows how important it is that all of us stay alert and avoid becoming careless, especially now during the easing of restrictions. The virus is still there and will spread,” Hesse state health minister Kai Klose said.
He said the authorities hoped that identifying those who attended the service at a Baptist church on May 10 would help prevent others being infected.
It was not immediately clear whether all the 107 with the coronavirus attended the service, or whether the tally includes people who were infected by those who did.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has risen to 178,281, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday. The reported death toll rose by 31 to 8,247.
Writing by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Timothy Heritage