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Audi CEO Duesmann goes into rehab to recover from coronavirus

BERLIN — Audi CEO Markus Duesmann has gone into a rehabilitation clinic to recover from a coronavirus infection he contracted in the spring.

An Audi spokesperson said Duesmann’s admittance to the rehabilitation clinic was purely a precautionary measure on the advice of his doctors.

Duesmann is already scheduled to return to work at the end of the month, the spokesman said in an email to Automotive News Europe.

Duesmann’s rehabilitation stay began last Monday. He took part in the online presentation of Audi parent Volkswagen Group’s new Strategy 2030 on Tuesday after recording his appearance last Friday. Duesmann is also in charge of VW Group’s R&D activities.

“Since we are all well trained in remote working, there is no issue,” Audi’s spokesperson said.

Duesmann has said he does not feel any long-term COVID-19 symptoms.

Duesmann touted the benefits of remote working in an interview with Automotive News Europe earlier this month, suggesting that up to 30 percent white-collar employees could move to permanent work from home.

Duesmann had fallen ill with COVID-19 in April, Automotive News’ sister publication Automobilwoche reported. He then spent two weeks in quarantine at home, Audi sources told Automobilwoche.

Overall, the disease had taken a mild course in him, and Duesmann continued to work from home by telephone and video call, Automobilwoche said. After the end of the quarantine, he resumed work on site.

In a message to his employees this week, Duesmann wrote that based on his experience he felt anyone could catch the disease “despite caution and many safety precautions.”

For this reason, he said, he had now decided to take part in a rehabilitation program for two to three weeks, just to be on the safe side, so that he could then come back to work and “go full throttle again.”

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