German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned people against ignoring the dangers posed by the coronavirus, saying that the pandemic is not over — and the situation in the country remains serious.
“The danger posed by the coronavirus remains serious,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday in her weekly video message. “It’s easy to forget because Germany has been doing reasonably well through the crisis so far, but that doesn’t mean that the danger has been averted,” Merkel said, pointing to the emergence of regional outbreaks in recent days.
“Take it seriously, because the situation is serious,” she reiterated.
Politicians alone will not be able to put an end to the spread of the virus, Merkel said, adding that it requires everyone to act responsibly. “We must all view it as our shared obligation and understand that by following the rules on minimum physical distance, facial coverings and hand hygiene, every one of us contributes to our shared destiny,” she said.
Merkel stressed that tackling COVID-19 and its health and socioeconomic consequences will be at the heart of Germany’s upcoming EU Council presidency. Germany is due to take over the rotating presidency in July.
The German leader pointed to the enormous human and economic toll extracted by the health emergency, noting that COVID-19 has already caused over 100,000 deaths across Europe. Key European achievements like the freedom of movement and open borders have also been hit, she said.
Furthermore, the chancellor said that getting Europe’s economy back on track is her primary goal during the EU presidency. High on the agenda of the six-month presidency will be climate protection, digitization and the strengthening of Europe’s ability to act globally, Merkel said.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 256 to 193,499, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday.
The reported death toll rose by three to 8,957.
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