Merkel urges Germans not to jeopardize coronavirus achievements

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BERLIN: Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans yesterday not to endanger what they have achieved so far in slowing the spread of the coronavirus by rushing back to normality too fast.

Europe’s biggest economy, battered by a lockdown that started in mid-March, is being closely watched after managing to keep its death rate lower than other countries despite having a high number of cases.

Shops, schools and factories have started up again, and some borders will begin to re-open this week. But the rule of keeping a distance of 1.5 metres from others still stands and masks are required on public transport and in most shops.

Merkel, a trained physicist whose scientific approach to the crisis has been praised, has consistently urged caution in the face of intense pressure from some state premiers and business who have pushed for a faster relaxation.

“Corona remains a danger for everyone of us,” Merkel told the Bundestag lower house of parliament, adding Germans would be living with the pandemic for some time yet as there was still no effective treatment or vaccine.

“It would be depressing if we have to return to restrictions that we want to leave behind us because we want too much too soon,” Merkel said. —Agencies

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