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Leon Goretzka warns of approaching “avalanche” of COVID-19 infections after Serge Gnabry quarantined

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The Bayern Munich midfielder thinks his teammate Serge Gnabry’s case may be only the first of many in Germany and across Europe.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Atletico Madrid: Group A - UEFA Champions League
Goretzka and his midfield partner in crime, Joshua Kimmich before the game against Atletico Madrid.
Photo by Sebastian Widmann - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Leon Goretzka expressed his concern about the rapid rise in COVID-19 infections in Germany and across Europe in an interview with Sky after Bayern Munich’s Champions League victory over Atletico Madrid. Goretzka’s teammate at Bayern and on the German national team, Serge Gnabry, notably tested positive for the virus on the eve of the game. He is now in quarantine for the next two weeks.

“It’s definitely a shock,” Goretzka told Sky (Bild) “But it was clear that it would happen at some point. It’s like an avalanche that’s coming closer, even in your own surroundings. You hear around you more and more often that it’s affecting people you know.”

The response: “You simply have to keep observing these guidelines really strictly and then hope for the best,” Goretzka said.

Just today (Thursday), Germany reported over 10,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March. Deutsche Welle reports:

Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on Thursday reported more than 11,200 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, the first time since the start of the pandemic that more than 10,000 new cases in Germany were recorded in a single day.

Germany is currently facing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, and the last daily record, numbering over 7,800 new infections, was reported just last Saturday.

Hopes that fans might return to stadiums or in some cases continue to attend games seem to be dimming as a wave of new infections sweeps across the country. Even Germany’s health minister Jens Spahn recently tested positive. His counterpart in Belgium has lamented a “tsunami” of cases worse than even the initial outbreak of the disease.

Back in Munich, head coach Hansi Flick reiterated the need to observe the basic precautions: “We also have to continue to strictly abide by the rules, wear masks, maintain distance. We can’t protect ourselves any other way. We have to see that we engage with these things even more intensively and follow the rules. There’s unfortunately no other way than to wear masks, keep your distance, and have few social contacts.”

Flick said that Gnabry himself was in good condition: “Gnabry is doing well and has no symptoms. I wouldn’t have thought it’d hit us so quickly. That’s stupid, of course, right before such a game. But the team dealt with it all very well and delivered a fantastic performance.“