While the world is working towards minimising the spread of coronavirus pandemic, in a bizarre happening, a 53-year-old district mayor in Berlin admitted to having “almost deliberately” infected himself with the virus.
Stephan von Dassel, District Mayor, Mitte in Berlin said, he thought that after being sick for three days, he will develop immunity for the disease and would be able to work, while other politicians in the city would be forced to take sick leave.
However, it didn’t turn out as Mayor Dassel expected.
“I was ill longer than I thought. I got infected almost on purpose to develop immunity and thought I’ll be a bit sick for three days and then I’ll be immune – I can’t catch it and won’t pass it on to anyone, but it was a lot worse than I imagined,” the German Green Party politician told Deutsche Welle.
The Mayor added that he believed his decision to self-infect would act as a “contribution” to the goal of flattening the curve of infections in the country.
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On the flip side, his move was criticized by many as it directly contradicted the advice from the government to practice social distancing to slow the rate of coronavirus spread.
Dassel later clarified that his public statements were “misleading”, and the decision to self inflict the virus was prompted after his partner tested positive with the virus, adding that he will remain in quarantine until he is no longer infectious.
On Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that the country’s social distancing measures would continue to be in place through the Easter holiday. The emergency measures were initially set to end on April 5th will now extend until at least April 19th.
According to Johns Hopkins University, Germany has the fifth-most coronavirus infection in the world, with 80,641 confirmed cases and 997 deaths.