Coronavirus warning: Outbreak could last TWO YEARS – terrifying prediction

Lothar Wieler, head of the Germany’s Robert Koch Institute public health body, said the reclassification was based on the growing number of serious cases and the fact that even well-equipped clinics were struggling to cope with the outbreak. Prof Wieler said the scale of the coronavirus outbreak differed from region to region and that the risk in the Heinsberg district in North Rhine-Westphalia could also be classified as “very high”.

We are assuming a period of two years

Lothar Wieler

He said it was also safe to assume the number of cases would in reality be much higher than those reported to the institute.

Prof Wieler warned people will continue to be infected with the coronavirus for several years.

He said: “We are assuming a period of two years.”

He told a daily conference 99 per cent of registered cases had so far survived the illness and although he had “no idea” of the eventual death rate will said evidence pointed to the fact that only one in five of those infected would be seriously ill.

He said: “Four out of five people will suffer only light symptoms or none at all.

“And according to information based on existing and previous cases, only around half of those who will be infected will actually get sick while the other half do not notice it at all.”

The Robert Koch Institute is developing various tools to assist Germany’s medical system, including one which monitors intensive bed capacity in order to enable the optimisation of the health system.

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German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier warned the country “will certainly have to deal with the consequences throughout April and May.

Mr Altmaier said there would still be a “significant number of new infections” during this time.

He said: “I wouldn’t advise anyone to assume that it will be over in eight days.”

The minister referred to Japan and South Korea, which had achieved good results by restricting the freedom of movement for citizens throughout the country.

He said: “This shows one can get a grip on this crisis but it is also a question of patience”.

Germany has launched a drive to bring home thousands of tourists stranded in popular winter vacation spots across the globe – particularly people on package holidays in Morocco, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, the Maldives and Egypt.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the government was spending up to £50 million on the effort to bring Germans home over the coming days in co-operation with airlines including Lufthansa.

He did not give a precise number of stranded Germans but said there was a particularly large number in Morocco, with around 4,000 or 5,000.

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He said: “Even if we will do everything humanly possible, we cannot in every case provide a solution within 24 hours.”

He said the foreign ministry had issued a formal warning against tourist travel to any country.

Meanwhile, Germany’s Volkswagen said it was closing most of its European plants for two weeks due to uncertainty about demand for cars and supplies of parts amid the outbreak.

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