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The Latest: 7 may have been infected at Germany restaurant

Posted on Saturday, May 23rd, 2020 By The Associated Press

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

TOP OF THE HOUR:

— Seven restaurant goers appear to have been infected in northwestern Germany

— UN warns cybercrime on rise during pandemic.

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BERLIN — Authorities say seven people appear to have been infected with the coronavirus at a restaurant in northwestern Germany, in what would be the first known such case since restaurants started reopening in the country two weeks ago.

The local government in Leer county said Friday night that the cases, reported between Tuesday and Friday, led to at least 50 people being quarantined.

Previously, no new cases had been confirmed in the area for over a week.

Germany started loosening its coronavirus restrictions on April 20 and that process has gathered pace recently. Lower Saxony state, where Leer is located, allowed restaurants to reopen May 11 with hygiene precautions.

Those currently include a 2-meter (6 ½-foot) distance between tables, masks for waiters and an obligation to take the name, address and phone number of guests so that possible infections can be traced.

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UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. disarmament chief says the COVID-19 pandemic is moving the world toward increased technological innovation and online collaboration, but “cybercrime is also on the rise, with a 600% increase in malicious emails during the current crisis.”

Izumi Nakamitsu told an informal meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Friday that “there have also been worrying reports of attacks against health care organizations and medical research facilities worldwide.”

She said growing digital dependency has increased the vulnerability to cyberattacks, and “it is estimated that one such attack takes place every 39 seconds.”

According to the International Telecommunication Union, “nearly 90 countries are still only at the early stages of making commitments to cybersecurity,” Nakamitsu said.

The high representative for disarmament affairs said the threat from misusing information and communications technology “is urgent.” But she said there is also good news, pointing to some global progress at the United Nations to address the threats as a result of the development of norms for the use of such technology.

Estonia’s Prime Minister Juri Ratas, whose country holds the Security Council presidency and organized Friday’s meeting on cyber stability and advancing responsible government behavior in cyberspace, said “the COVID-19 crisis has put extra pressure on our critical services in terms of cybersecurity.”

He said the need for “a secure and functioning cyberspace” is therefore more pressing than ever and he condemned cyberattacks targeting hospitals, medical research facilities and other infrastructure, especially during the pandemic.

“Those attacks are unacceptable,” Ratas said. “It will be important to hold the offenders responsible for their behavior.”

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Follow AP news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak


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