Alleged Illegal Ramadan Party Blamed for Hundreds of New Coronavirus Infections

The German city of Göttingen in Lower Saxony has seen a fresh wave of hundreds of Chinese coronavirus infections, with some blaming them on an alleged illegal party to mark the end of Ramadan.

At least 200 people have been infected with the virus in a wave that some have blamed on a party held by Kosovar Muslims at a local hookah bar to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the feast that represents the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The city of Göttingen later claimed that there was little evidence infections were spread at the hookah bar, but traced their source to Muslim families living at the Iduna Zentrum high-rise apartment complex, broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk reports.

“They wrote in the newspaper about a big celebration. There was nothing at all. There was no big celebration. How can we make a big celebration in one Apartment with 71 square meters? Or with 50 square meters?” a member of one of the families affected claimed in comments to the broadcaster.

Local imam Mahmoud Abdel Aziz claimed that the local mosque had abided by coronavirus guidelines, saying: “We said that if you don’t have a mask, you can’t come in. We’re making the hygiene regulations even stronger than those set by the state.”

The residents of Iduna Zentrum, many of them migrants from the Balkans who speak little to no German, say they feel discriminated against due to the anger from locals over the outbreak leading to the closure of local schools and businesses.

“All I want is for people in the rest of Göttingen to stop treating us so unfairly,” one resident said.

Others said they did not avoid coronavirus testing, as has been alleged, and that they informed authorities about an individual with a confirmed case and how they were breaking quarantine rules repeatedly.

Germany has also seen a number of coronavirus outbreaks in asylum homes across the country, such as in the town of Halberstadt in April when a mass brawl broke out between asylum seekers.

Other towns reported that asylum seekers under quarantine had been caught violating quarantine measures many times.

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