About 58 million German residents – which is about 70 per cent of the population of Germany could contact the coronavirus, warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel. This warning was issued by her during a news conference on Wednesday which she was holding jointly with the country’s Health Minister Jens Spahn.
The focus of the government and other relevant authorities would be on slowing down the spread of the virus because there were no known cures for the disease Covid-19 that is caused by the virus, she said. “It’s about winning time,” she explained.
The remarks from her assumed importance because of a nationwide lockdown in Italy entered its second day. There were more than 10,000 confirmed cases of the viral infection in Italy which prompted the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to implement a new decree to mandate the closure of schools, gyms, museums, nightclubs and other venues all across the country.
On the other hand, a third patient was reported to have died of coronavirus in Germany on Wednesday who hailed from the district of Heinsberg in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which is one of the worst virus affected areas of the country.
The forts German victim was an 89-year-old woman who succumbed to the virus in the town of Essen while the second victim was a 78-year-old man who had preexisting chronic illness and who died in Heinsberg.
According to figures released by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control late on Tuesday, a total of 1,296 confirmed cases of the virus infection have so far been reported from Germany. There were not a significant number of undetected cases of the virus infection in Germany according to the estimates of the body, said Lothar Wieler, the president of the RKI.
It would not be enough to just close down borders in efforts to stop the spread of the virus, warned Chancellor Merkel warned while speaking at the news conference. She also ruled out putting a blanket ban on visitors from Italy entering Germany as has been done by Australia.
“This is a test for our solidarity, our common sense and care for each other. And I hope we pass the test,” she said.
In order to allow new government borrowing, she was willing to scrap Germany’s “black zero” rule, Merkel also said. it was “an extraordinary situation” and therefore bringing an end to the outbreak was the first priority of the government, she said.
As a part of its efforts to reducing the spread of the virus, authorities in Berlin banned all gatherings and events in the city that would have a gathering of more than a 1,000 people till the end of the Easter holidays.
“The coronavirus continues to spread. In such a phase, public life must be restricted,” said the city’s Health Minister, Dilek Kalayci. “The spread of the coronavirus can be slowed down by reducing major events. At the beginning of an epidemic, such a restriction is important.”
(Adapted from BBC.com)