Germany is preparing for an epidemic. The Robert Koch institute admits the goal is to prevent the spread of the virus, saying trips should be canceled.
Places with mass meetings should be closed Public life should be reduced.
The Robert Koch Institute is a German federal government agency and research institute responsible for disease control and prevention. It is located in Berlin and Wernigerode. As an upper federal agency, it is subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Health.
Professor. Dr. Lothar H. Wieler. President of the Robert Koch institute today admits the goal is to prevent the spread of the virus, saying trips should be canceled. He urged how important it is to win time.
Professor Wieler admitted hundreds of people are under quarantine in Germany at this time. He also admitted the virus is already contagious when there is no sign of illness. This is different from SARS. Professor Wieler said 80% of the people with the virus only have mild symptoms, but 18% get seriously ill and approximately 2% will die. 18% is an extremely high number.
When asked about ITB he responded saying:
Places with mass meetings should be closed. Public life should be reduced.
In regards to ITB specifically he said such a decisions to cancel such a major trade show is the responsibility by the organizer.
Professor Wieler said other events were canceled. If there are visitors expected from abroad, specifically from crisis regions, it would be very clear such an event (like ITB) should be canceled.
He added, many visitors may cancel anyway and trade shows could become less attractive even if it was taking place.
He added on the recent cruise ship 20% of all passengers that traveled together were eventually positive for the virus.
Professor Wieler said washing hands is the key, but desinfecting hand rails on stair cases is not going to make a big difference. ITB had indicated yesterday the frequent disinfection of such spaces was important to prevent the virus to spread, and Messe Berlin had hired more cleaners to do so.
In the meantime, ITB proudly released a form they designed and are only provided for exhibitors. This is the golden key for a safe global trade show with 100,000 visitors and 10,000 exhibitors coming to the German capital for ITB Berlin 2020 from March 4-8.
Here is a picture of the form