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.
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Associated Press contributed to this report.