Angela Merkel: Up to 70% of Germany could become coronavirus infected

Angela Merkel Up to 70% of Germany could become coronavirus infected
This was the first time Ms Merkel publicly address on the outbreak. Source: AP
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Daily US Times, Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that up to 70% of the country’s population, which is estimated some 58 million people – could contract the coronavirus.

She made the prediction at a news conference on Wednesday alongside Health Minister Jens Spahn.

Since there is no known cure for the coronavirus, Angela Merkel urged to shift focus on slowing the spread of the virus.

“It’s about winning time,” she explained.

The comments of Angela Merkel came as Italy entered its second day of a national lockdown.

On Wednesday, the confirmed cases in Italy passed 10,000. The country became the hotbed of the coronavirus in Europe and became the worst-hit country outside of China.

Italy closed gyms, schools, gyms, nightclubs, museums and other venues across the country.

What is happening elsewhere?

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference that the National Guard will be sent to the town to help close public gathering spaces in an effort to slow the spread of the outbreak. On Wednesday, the total number of infections in the UScrossed 1,000, that’s almost double the number from a day before. At least 28 people have died.

A one-mile (1.6km) containment zone was in force around New Rochelle. All the residents in the zone are quarantined.

Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte pledged 25bn euros ($22bn) to tackle the outbreak – up from the 7.5bn euros announced last week.

Lots of festivals and major corporate, non-corporate events, including the Coachella festival in California, have been canceled or postponed across the US.

Berlin city authorities on Wednesday banned all events with more than 1,000 participants, in an attempt to prevent the virus from further spreading.

Thousands of flights have been canceled worldwide.

UK health minister and Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has been diagnosed with coronavirus. The minister said she has been self-isolating at home.

Labour MP Rachael Maskell, who had met Ms Dorries is asked to do the same.

According to the Department of Health, Nadine Dorries first showed symptoms on Thursday, the same day she had attended a program hosted by prime minister Boris Johnson.

It is not known yet how many meetings Ms Dorries had attended in her constituency and at Westminister in recent days.

In China, there have been 80,754 confirmed cases and 3,136 deaths. The Chinese city of Wuhan is the epicenter of the outbreak, but the country recorded its lowest number of new infections, just 19, on Tuesday.

Third patient dies in Germany

On Wednesday, Germany confirmed its third coronavirus-related death in the badly affected district of Heinsberg in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The first patient to die in Germany was an 89-year-old woman who died in the town of Essen, the second a 78-year-old man with pre-existing health conditions who died in Heinsberg.

The country has reported 1,296 cases so far.

The president of Robert Koch Institute (RKI) Lothar Wieler said their body did not believe there was a significant number of undetected cases in the country.

This was the first time Ms Merkel publicly address the outbreak, said “This is a test for our solidarity, our common sense, and care for each other. And I hope we pass the test.”