Angela Merkel goes into self-quarantine

Angela Merkel

Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has gone into self-quarantine after she came into contact with a person who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, her spokesperson said.

A doctor who vaccinated her on March 20 against pneumococcus, a pneumonia-causing bacteria, had tested positive for coronavirus, the BBC quoted Steffen Seibert, the spokesperson, as saying on Sunday.

The Chancellor, 65, will be tested regularly in the next few days and work from home, Seibert added. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, has so far confirmed 27,873 coronavirus cases and 94 deaths.

Also on Sunday, Germany expanded curbs on social interactions to try to contain the coronavirus outbreak, banning public gatherings of more than two people.
In a televised address, Merkel said “our own behaviour” was the “most effective way” of slowing the rate of infection.

The measures included closing hair, beauty and massage studios. Other non-essential shops had already been shut. Restaurants will now only be allowed to open for takeaway service.
All restrictions apply to every German state, and will be in place for at least the next two weeks, the BBC reported.

“The great aim is to gain time in the fight against the virus,” said Merkel, urging citizens to keep contact outside their own household to an absolute minimum and to ensure a distance of at least 1.5 metres from another person when in public.