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Merkel: Germany just at the beginning of coronavirus crisis

Angela Merkel warns that coronavirus crisis is still just at the beginning.

Germans have been advised to prepare to live with coronavirus restrictions for a long time to come.

“I understand that this life under corona conditions has been happening to everyone for a very, very long time,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

Making her first government statement on the corona pandemic in the Bundestag today, Ms Merkel said nobody likes to hear the fact that restrictions will remain in place for longer than foreseen. “We are not living in the final phase of the pandemic, but still at its beginning. We will have to live with this virus for a long time to come.”

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She described the coronavirus pandemic as “the biggest challenge since World War Two, for the life and health of our people” and called for “maximum discipline” to avoid stop-start lockdowns. “We must not waste what has been achieved already,” she said.

“The question of how we can prevent the virus from overwhelming our health system and subsequently costing the lives of countless people, this question will for a long time be the central question for politics in Germany and Europe,” Mrs Merkel said.

She urged European countries to strengthen their capacity to produce specialised medical kit instead of depending on global supplies.

“I know how difficult the restrictions are, it’s a challenge to democracy, it limits our democratic rights,” she said.

Latest report shows that coronavirus has infected a total of 145,694 and killed 4,879people in Germany.

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The report by Robert Koch Institute in Germany shows that the incidence (cases per 100,000) of COVID-19 is highest in Bavaria (297), BadenWuerttemberg (261), Saarland (239) and Hamburg (228).

Most of the cases (67%) are between 15 and 59 years old. Men (48%) and women (52%) are almost equally affected. At least 87% of the people killed by the virus are aged 70 years or older.