Coronavirus: Dozens test positive for COVID-19 following Frankfurt church service

More than 40 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus following a church service in Frankfurt, Germany's financial center, earlier this month, the head of the city's health department told a news agency on Saturday.

"Most of them are not seriously ill. As far as we know only one person has been admitted to hospital," Rene Gottschalk told the dpa agency.

The service took place on May 10 at a Baptist church, the department's deputy chief Antoni Walczok told local newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau. On its website the church says it holds services in both German and Russian.

"The situation is very dynamic," Walczok told the paper, adding the church did not violate official guidelines aimed at containing the spread of the virus.

Churches in the German state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is located, have been able to hold services since May 1 provided they adhere to official social distancing and hygiene rules.

Frankfurt's health department was not available for comment outside business hours on Saturday.

Germany has had 180,000 confirmed infections and 8354 deaths from COVID-19 so far. It has successfully managed to curb the initial outbreak, the country of 83 million recording only two deaths in the last 24 hours. 

There is currently a limit of 10 people on church services in New Zealand, though the police said they'll allow groups of up to 100, as long as they are in groups of no more than 10 and observe social distancing. 

Churches have been urging the Government to clarify the rules and lift restrictions. The Government is expected to respond on Monday.

Reuters / Newshub.


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