Coronavirus: Up to 70% of Germany could get infected with COVID-19, Merkel says

Germany Virus Outbreak

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a news conference about the coronavirus outbreak in Germany, in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, March 11, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

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GERMANY — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, could infect up to 70% of the country.

During a Wednesday news conference in Berlin, Merkel said “the consensus among experts is that 60 to 70% of the population will be infected” since there is no immunity for the virus.

She also made clear that Germany doesn’t intend to close its borders in the light of Europe’s coronavirus epidemic, arguing that it makes more sense for people arriving from badly hit regions to quarantine themselves at home.

About 1,300 people have been infected with novel coronavirus in Germany as of Wednesday, but only three deaths have been reported.

Merkel said at a rare, hastily convened news conference Wednesday in Berlin that it’s important for European leaders to discuss “what are good and effective measures and what aren’t.”

She said “we in Germany, in any case, are of the opinion that border closures are not an appropriate response to the challenge.”

There are over 121,000 confirmed cases worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins. Over 4,300 people have died from COVID-19 while over 66,000 have recovered.

There are over 200 cases of COVID-19 in the tri-state area, with two cases in Connecticut, 192 cases in New York and 15 cases in New Jersey. New Jersey also reported the state’s first death in connection to the virus.

For more information on the novel coronavirus, click here.

Click here to learn tips on how to protect yourself amid COVID-19 concerns.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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