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Coronavirus: Chancellor Angela Merkel in quarantine

German Chancellor Angela Merkel goes into quarantine after learning that a doctor she met on Friday had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Ms Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said she was going into quarantine immediately after announcing drastic, Germany-wide measures on limiting contact to fight coronavirus in the country.

The Chanceller was informed today afternoon that the doctor who administered a pnueumococcal vaccine to her on Friday afternoon had tested positive for the virus.

She has therefore immediately gone into self-quarantine in her home.

Her spokesman said she will be tested regularly over the coming days and will continue to conduct her duties as Chancellor from home.

In her previous address to the nation earlier this week, Ms Merkel said: “there is still neither a way to treat the coronavirus, nor is there a vaccine. As long as this is the case – and this is what is guiding all of our actions – then only one thing matters, namely that we slow the spread of the virus, flatten the curve over the course of several months and buy time. Time in which the research community can develop a medicine and vaccine. But, above all, time to allow those who fall ill to receive the best possible treatment.

“Germany has an excellent healthcare system, perhaps one of the best in the world. We can take solace in this. But our hospitals would also be completely overwhelmed if, in the shortest space of time, too many patients were admitted, suffering severe symptoms as a result of the virus.”

She thanked the doctors, nurses and all medical staff for their tremendous work.

“So, our aim is to slow the virus down as it makes its way through Germany. And we must, and this is absolutely vital, focus our attention on one thing above all else, namely powering down public life as far as possible. With reason and a sense of proportion, of course, since the state will continue to function. It goes without saying that supply chains will continue to be guaranteed, and we want to keep as much economic activity going as possible,” Ms Merkel said.

“But we must now reduce everything that could put people at risk, everything that could harm not only individuals, but also the community. We must limit the risk of one person infecting another as much as we possibly can. I know how dramatic the restrictions already are: no events, no trade fairs, no concerts any more, and, for the time being, also no school, no university, no kindergarten, no more playing at the playground. I know how invasive the closures that the Federation and the Länder have agreed to are in our lives, and also in terms of how we see ourselves as a democracy. These are restrictions, the likes of which the Federal Republic has never seen before.”