Coronavirus: Merkel says up to 70 percent of population will be infected

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel gives a press conference at the end of an EU summit at the Europa building in Brussels, on June 21, 2019. (AFP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is citing expert estimates that up to 70 percent of the population could be infected by the new coronavirus as she insists on the necessity of measures to slow its spread.

Germany had confirmed some 1,300 infections as of Wednesday, with two deaths. The government has recommended the cancellation of all events with more than 1,000 people, among other things.

Merkel noted at a news conference in Berlin: “You have to understand that if the virus is there, and the population has no immunity yet to this virus, there are no vaccines and no therapy so far, a high percentage - experts say 60 to 70 percent -- of the population will be infected.”

She said the priority is to slow the spread of the disease “so all the measures we are taking are of the greatest significance because they are giving us time - it does matter what we do, it is not in vain.”

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:05 - GMT 07:05