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Coronavirus: Germany’s Merkel urges ‘solidarity and reason’

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The German chancellor has urged understanding and solidarity, one day after the government said up to 70% of people in the country could be infected with the novel coronavirus.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday said “solidarity and reason” were central to the country’s response to the virus.

“The virus is in Europe, it is there and we must understand that,” added Merkel at a press conference to discuss the virus response and share what EU leaders discussed on their response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2) outbreak.

The chancellor said the measures would be directed towards protecting the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions — as these groups are most at risk from the virus.

Germany’s response will focus on ensuring that police, critical infrastructure and medical people can continue to work, and that health services would not be overwhelmed.

The German government on Tuesday said that 60-70% of people in Germany could be infected and pledged €1 billion ($1.1 billion) to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak.

There are more than 1,200 confirmed cases in Germany and two people have died in the most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

kmm/stb (dpa, Reuters)

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