The anger of some Germans towards the inhabitants of the districts where the coronavirus has erupted again on a large scale is “completely unacceptable and disgusting,” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said Friday.
The spokesman responded to reports that insults and vandalism have targeted residents of the Gütersloh and Warendorf districts.
“The fact that residents of Gütersloh and Warendorf are sometimes scolded and their cars scratched is, of course, unacceptable and disgusting behaviour,” Merkel’s spokesperson said in a news conference.
“We must treat each other with respect and sympathy, especially in difficult situations.” He added that everyone is at risk of suddenly finding his or her environment as a source of infection.
German authorities ordered Tuesday that lockdown measures be re-instated in the two districts in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
That decision came after a large-scale corona outbreak came to light among the staff of meat processor Tönnies. More than 1,500 employees were found to be infected.
Of the more than 1,500 tests carried out on Wednesday among the population of Gütersloh, only three turned out to be positive, according to local authorities.