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German police injured as clashes erupt over virus quarantine

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

Berlin, Germany   /   Mon, June 22, 2020   /   09:20 am
German police injured as clashes erupt over virus quarantine People look on a destroyed shop window of a shoe store in Stuttgart, southern Germany on Sunday. Separately,Several police officers were hurt in clashes with residents of a high-rise apartment block in the German city of Goettingen who had been placed under quarantine over a coronavirus outbreak, authorities said on Sunday. (AFP/Thomas Kienzle )

Several police officers were hurt in clashes with residents of a high-rise apartment block in the German city of Goettingen who had been placed under quarantine over a coronavirus outbreak, authorities said on Sunday.

The violence erupted on Saturday as a group of residents sought to break through a metal barrier installed to keep the 700 people living in the residential complex in to prevent possible transmission of the virus.

Some flung stones, bottles and wooden slats at officers, the city's police chief Uwe Luehrig told journalists on Sunday.

Residents in the complex were put under quarantine on Thursday after two of them were found to be infected with COVID-19. 

By Friday, 120 people in the building tested positive.

Goettingen is one of several outbreak clusters that have emerged in Germany since lockdown restrictions were lifted in May, including a huge cluster at a slaughterhouse in the North-Rhine Westphalia district of Guetersloh.

More than 1,300 workers out of a total of nearly 7,000 have tested positive, and the region's state premier Armin Laschet said Sunday that he "cannot rule out a blanket lockdown".

Several outbreaks at slaughterhouses, not just in Germany but also in France, have put a spotlight on the working and housing conditions that the workers -- many of whom come from Romania or Bulgaria -- are put under.

The German government in May banned the use of subcontractors in the meat industry in a bid to curb the controversial practice of companies using middlemen to supply workers from abroad who are more vulnerable to abuses.

Although Germany has weathered the coronavirus storm better than many of its European neighbors, the slaughterhouse outbreaks have dealt a blow to its efforts to restart Europe's top economy.