Posted by News Express | 23 March 2020 | 647 times
Angela Merkel has gone into quarantine after being informed that a doctor who administered a vaccine to her has tested positive for coronavirus.
The German chancellor was informed about the doctor’s test shortly after holding a news conference on Sunday announcing new measures to curb the spread of the virus, her spokesman Steffen Seibert said. He said Merkel had received a precautionary vaccine on Friday against pneumococcal infection.
At the televised press briefing Merkel said Germany would ban public meetings of more than two people.
“The great aim is to gain time in the fight against the virus,” she said, citing an agreement between the federal government and regional states.
“For at least the next two weeks, people will not be allowed to form groups of three or more in public unless they live together in the same household, or the gathering is work-related, she added.
For most people, Covid-19 causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever or coughing. For some, especially older people and those with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or even death. About 93,800 people have recovered, mostly in China.
Seibert said Merkel would undergo regular tests in the coming days and continue with her work from home for the time being.
Merkel had earlier expressed her gratitude to Germans who were following the rules on social distancing, saying it was important to remain at least 1.5 metres (about 5 feet) apart to reduce the likelihood of infection.
Merkel on Sunday thanked “the overwhelming majority” of Germans who were following rules on social distancing to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“I know that it means sacrifice,” she said, citing the economic and social costs that the lockdown was having. “I’m moved by the fact that so many are abiding by these rules. This way we show care for older and sick people, because the virus is most dangerous to them. In short: we are saving lives with this.”
Merkel said the lockdown had already affected her profoundly, too. “My life has also fundamentally changed and now consists largely of phone calls and video conferences,” she said.
The development illustrated how even world leaders are not free from the risk of infection. “With a certain distance the risk of infections is reduced almost to zero,” Merkel told reporters. “Whether you are half a metre apart or 1.5 metres apart makes a huge difference.”
Seconds later, she was informed that her doctor had tested positive for Covid-19. (AP)
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