Run on Corona Virus information

720 calls by 4 pm / Passenger from Abu Dhabi tests positive

The demand for information on the Corona Virus is gigantic. On just one day, Monday 2 March, 720 calls to the helpline number 0211-8996090 were dealt with by 4 pm. Many of the callers found themselves placed on hold. There were even times when an automated reply was activated: "You're calling outside our office hours".

That was quickly changed. Extra staff were put in place right away, so there are now eight men and women answering questions about the Corona Virus. As from tomorrow, the telephone team, which is on call in three shifts round the clock, is to be reinforced with students, staff from municipal departments and junior employees. Please be aware that this information service is intended only for people who live and/or work in Düsseldorf. People who live outside the state capital, in a different municipality, should contact the office there. Otherwise we just won't be able to cope with the rush of calls.

The diagnostic centre at the health office started work on Monday 2 March.
The diagnostic centre at the health office started work on Monday 2 March.

At the weekend there were three people who were given an appointment at the diagnostic centre. 13 of today's callers were found to require a test. They were immediately given an appointment at the diagnostic centre, which will be operated today and tomorrow in cooperation with the team of doctors established at the health office (Gesundheitsamt). As from Wednesday there will be a diagnostic centre at another central point in the city. This makes it clear that the vast majority of cases are unlikely to show an infection with the Corona Virus. May we repeat one urgent point: appointments for the diagnostic centre can only be given via the telephone information service. For organisational reasons, it is not possible for the diagnostic centre to decide whether a test is in fact necessary. Anyone who shows up at the diagnostic centre without an appointment must, regrettably, be turned away.

The diagnostic centre at the health office started work on Monday 2 March. Photos: Uwe Schaffmeister
The diagnostic centre at the health office started work on Monday 2 March. Photos: Uwe Schaffmeister

A British national, coming from Abu Dhabi, arrived at Düsseldorf airport today, Monday 2 March. The information that he had tested positive for the Corona Virus only came during the flight. After consultation with the health office, he did not fly on to the United Kingdom, and was placed in accommodation in Düsseldorf. So far he has shown no symptoms of illness, which means that the positive test result could be incorrect. It was decided to conduct a second test, the result of which will only be available tomorrow. A decision will then be taken on what to do next. Nearly 20 passengers had been seated in his immediate vicinity in the plane. Their particulars, including a telephone number, were recorded, so that they can, if necessary, be contacted quickly. They were able to continue their journeys.

 

Monday, 2nd March 2020, 6.22 pm