I.In the Ahrweiler district affected by the flood, there are significantly more corona infections per inhabitant than in the other Rhineland-Palatinate districts and urban districts. On Friday the incidence in the district was just under 48; in Rhineland-Palatinate the value was 17.8, nationwide 16.5. In view of the around 5500 rescue workers and the several thousand volunteer helpers who are at the Ahr, there is growing concern that the region will develop into a corona hotspot.
The state government contradicted this now. So far there have been no signs of this, said the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Health on Friday. “The high incidence in the Ahrweiler district is not related to floods. Rather, corona infections in particular in a residential area in Adenau, which presumably came about through close private contacts, lead to the majority of the reported cases, ”said a ministry spokeswoman for the FAZ To continue the pace as elsewhere.
In the areas affected by the flood disaster, there is currently a vaccination bus from the Koblenz vaccination center, in which residents and helpers can get vaccinated. Almost 2000 vaccinations have been carried out since July 20th. Another vaccination bus has meanwhile been used in Adenau at the Nürburgring, where there were almost 290 vaccinations. Mobile vaccination teams are also on-site as required.
In the vaccination bus, the employees of the German Red Cross also offer vaccinations against tetanus. A spokesman for the Bundeswehr medical service recently warned that there was a “hygiene problem that could create a latent risk of epidemics, especially with regard to diarrheal diseases such as cholera, diphtheria and hepatitis A”. This is due to the many animal carcasses in the flooded area, but also to graves that the water has opened. Many cemeteries have been devastated in the valley. The Bundeswehr therefore urgently recommended vaccination of the population and helpers against cholera, diphtheria, hepatitis A and, because of the many wound injuries, against tetanus.
The water and mud of the Ahr are believed to be heavily polluted. The flood also destroyed gas stations, industrial and sewage treatment plants. More than two and a half weeks after the disaster, it is still unclear how high the load is with fuel, faeces and toxins. According to the responsible state authority for structure and approval (SGD) North, water monitoring will be resumed “as soon as the situation allows again”. All three existing sewage treatment plants in the Ahr Valley have been badly damaged and are currently inactive. Where there are still sewer pipes, the sewage currently flows untreated into the Ahr.