German Bundeswehr three-star General Alfons Mais has placed himself into voluntary quarantine after coming into contact with another military official suspected of having coronavirus.
The 57-year-old, who holds the highest general’s rank in the German army, attended a conference put on by the U.S. Army in Europe and came into contact with U.S. Lieutenant General Christopher Cavoli, who has also been put under quarantine.
Twenty-four senior military officials from various NATO countries also attended the conference, which took place in the German city of Wiesbaden last week, among them Italian General Salvatore Farina, the head of the Italian army, who tested positive for the virus over the weekend, German tabloid Bild reports.
General Mais is not the only member of the Bundeswehr to be placed under quarantine, according to Bild, which said that the Bundeswehr academy has also been put on lockdown due to a confirmed case in one of its barracks.
Germany Reports First Two Coronavirus Deaths, With Rapid Testing Helping Keep Fatality Rate Low https://t.co/jTDYFKQyYu
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 9, 2020
Soldiers who live in the barracks will no longer be allowed to leave the accommodation while soldiers who live in residences outside of the academy have been told to self isolate in their own homes.
German troops have also been commanded to avoid public transport and all internal and external events have been suspended.
Elsewhere in Europe, General Jaroslaw Mika, the commander of Poland’s armed forces has also been infected.
The confirmed case of Italian General Farina comes as Italy has seen a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks and has become one of the leading countries for cases behind only China with over 10,000 confirmed cases and 631 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon.
Several other high-profile Italians have also tested positive for the virus, including the leader of the left-wing Democratic Party Nicola Zingaretti who confirmed his diagnosis.
“Well then, it has arrived. I too have the coronavirus,” the Democratic leader said on Saturday but added that he was feeling fine and had isolated himself in his home.
Germany, while having over a thousand confirmed cases of the virus, has reported far fewer fatalities, claiming its first two deaths earlier this week.