The mayor of the Mitte district in Berlin said he wanted to infect himself so he could develop immunity. He infected himself deliberately by not self-isolating away from his girlfriend, who caught coronavirus when she was on holiday in Switzerland. Stephan von Dassel, 53, said: “I guess I am OK now, but I was sick for a long time, longer than I thought.
“I did get myself intentionally infected, in order to amuse myself and I thought, well you know, for three days be a bit out of sorts and then with immunity I can’t be infected again and also can’t infect anyone else. But it was worse and I thought.”
The 53-year-old said: “I was of the opinion that avoiding infection when under house quarantine with an infected person despite preventative measures was very difficult to avoid, and therefore accepted that it was going to happen and made sure that I was infected as quickly as possible to get it over with.
“Above all, we need to level the curve. And I’ve now contributed to this over the last 15 days because I was well behaved and stayed in quarantine.”
Some social media users criticised his actions on Twitter, with one saying his behaviour was “disappointing and he was a bad role model”.
Another Twitter user said it is very possible to self-isolate in the same home as an infected person and was concerned other people would copy his actions.
They said: “There are infected people who have not infected their family members even in a shared apartment!
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“Failed across the board and also to make it public, so that many now think you should do it that way too!”
Another person commented saying he could have been hospitalised because of his actions.
They said: “What if you had to be hospitalised because of a serious illness? You had no control over that?”
In a tweet, Mr Von Dassel has defended his actions, saying he was being responsible.
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He said: “Perhaps my statement on the radio today was misleading.“But my behaviour was and is responsible. I was, am and remain in quarantine, until I’m no longer infectious.”
In the UK the health service is urging people to avoid contracting the virus by implementing social distancing measures. Britain has also enforced strict lockdown measures to try to halt the spread of COVID-19.
Experts have said a small percentage of the population will become seriously ill when contacting the potentially deadly virus – despite most people likely to experience mild symptoms.
Germany is conducting more than 50,000 coronavirus tests a day so they can be aware of exactly who has the infection.
According to the organisation in charge of Germany’s response to the pandemic, The Robert Koch Institute, the country has conducted more than 900,000 tests so far.
Germany has seen 997 deaths as a result of COVID-19.
This comes as German carmakers have had a crisis call with Chancellor Angela Merkel as they fear they may have to cut jobs if the pandemic continues.
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