Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, has said that "up to 70% of the German population could become infected" with the new coronavirus (Covid-19), corresponding to roughly 58 million people.
"Our solidarity, our common sense and our heart are being put to the test and I hope we pass it," Merkel said at a press conference in Berlin, following the death of a third patient infected with the coronavirus in the Heinsberg region, in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, close to the Belgian border, reports BBC.
She also said she was willing to review the zero deficit policy in the budget and added that containing the epidemic is a priority. Merkel cited government support for health measures, in addition to pledging to fund ailing companies and expanding employee leave.
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However, other German health experts stated that it is unlikely that two-thirds of the populations will get infected. The worst-case scenario is a maximum of 40,000 people in Germany getting the virus, according to virologist Alexander Kekulé, a former government advisor on disease control, report German media.
Merkel also thanked health workers and the local authorities for their efforts to contain the virus, and expressed her "deepest sympathy" for the people of Italy, and stressed the importance of a coordinated approach at EU level, but did not want to close borders, reports De Morgen.
The Brussels Times