The confirmed cases in Germany have reportedly surpassed 13,000 with 31 fatalities that have been recorded from the novel coronavirus. The country has become one of the most impacted in Europe after Italy and has scrambled to seal off its borders in an effort to contain the pandemic.
According to the reports, Germany has shut its borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, and Denmark barring all non-essential movements since March 15. This exempts trade and commerce. Authorities have also imposed restrictions on social gatherings, and shutdown public premises like in-dining restaurants, bars, and pubs. The border closure prohibits foreign bulk purchases.
In her first direct TV address to the nation in over 14 years, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the country hadn’t faced a challenge like the current outbreak of the coronavirus since World War II. She urged every person within Germany to help protect those who are the most vulnerable to COVID-19 in her nationwide address. “Let me tell you: This is serious. Take it seriously too,” Merkel said in her speech which was aired on several public and private TV stations.
German Chancellor also reportedly said, that the containment measures will be enforced by the police headed by the country’s regional leaders, as per reports. Additionally, Berlin and Cologne have shuttered all clubs, cinemas, theatres, and concert halls with immediate effect to stem the spike in the spread of the disease. Health Minister Jens Spahn said that in a bid to escalate the containment measures, the government has scrapped the assembly of over 1,000 people across Germany. Several major sporting and other events, including the Bundesliga football matches have been cancelled, confirmed media reports.
Christian Drosten, director of the Institute for Virology at Berlin's Charite hospital, said that Germany was ahead in diagnostics, in detection, compared to Italy and other European countries. The most effective tool against coronavirus is the time factor, slowing down its spread and spreading it over a longer period of time, Chancellor Angela Merkel was quoted saying as per the reports.
(With inputs from agencies)