BERLIN. Chancellor Angela Merkel is on the way and its power wanes, but in the environment, usually restrained and no-nonsense, the German leader laid out some cold, hard facts about the coronavirus.
Ms. Merkel said that two out of three citizens can be infected at a press conference that reverberated far beyond the borders of her country. Now there is no medicine against the virus and no vaccine. The coronavirus is spreading exponentially, and the world is now faced with the pandemic.
According to the Chancellor, the most important is to slow the spread of coronavirus to win time for development of immunity in humans and to prevent congestion of the health system.
“We have to understand that many people will be infected, “said Ms. Merkel. “The consensus among experts is that 60 to 70 percent of the population will be infected, this is the minimum value“.
Evaluation Ms. Merkel was probably the worst possible scenario, although not much different from experts outside of Germany.
The warning contrasted sharply with the reckless statements of many other world leaders, including President trump, who basically did not pay attention to the coronavirus. In a televised address Wednesday night, Mr. trump took a grim tone, suspending travel from Europe to the United States, except the UK, for 30 days.
But although this speech was the most public recognition of Mr. trump the severity of the crisis, he also criticized the European Union, saying it helped spread the virus in the United States, not having its own sufficient precautions.
On Wednesday, when she appealed to his colleagues in the entourage of the Minister of health and head of the Institute of public health, she said that the information which it is divided, did from the experts. This information, according to her, was the basis for solutions to public health taken by the authorities.
Lothar Wheeler, President of the Institute of public health. Robert Koch, said that although experts in the field of health believes that two thirds of the population can be infected with a coronavirus, “we don’t know how quickly it will happen“.
“But each of us can understand the longer time it takes, the better,” said Dr. Wheeler. “On the one hand, because the likelihood that the vaccine will be available, is increased and on the other hand, because there is a likelihood that treatment will be available“.
One of the leading virologists in the country recently stated that infected so many people may take a year, two years or even more.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Ms. Merkel did not give big promises. Its a sober statement was more of a call to arms of ordinary citizens.
The Chancellor encouraged the Germans to comply with the restrictions and solidarity with each other for the common good.
Football competitions will be played in an empty stadium. Large sporting events will be cancelled.
“We must take all necessary steps“, Ms. Merkel. “This is true for the government and all who bear political responsibility. But this is also true for all citizens, 83 million people who live in our country. We are talking about the protection of older people, people with previous illnesses and vulnerable groups“.
“It puts our solidarity, our common sense and our openness to each other in the test,“she said. “I hope we’ll manage“.
The Chancellor consults regularly with the Minister of health and the German scientists who are tracking the virus since its first appearance in Bavaria in January.
As the number of infections in recent days, rose — on Wednesday, the number has reached 1,600 people, and on Wednesday three people were killed, the Chancellor has been criticized in the media and the opposition for the fact that it is not addressed to the public about the crisis in health care.
When Ms. Merkel made the statement on Wednesday, it was a reminder of the woman who for most of the last 14 years was the stone of European politics. She is a leader who reassured the owners of savings accounts during the financial crisis; who held the Euro zone together in the sovereign debt crisis; and which was marked, at least in many circles as the defender of liberal values after its decision to take more than a million migrants in 2015.
“It was a good speech by Merkel, “said Andrea Roemmele, Professor of political science in the school of herti in Berlin. “She showed leadership in the crisis. She calmed people down. And she spoke the facts.
Ms. Merkel told reporters that she wanted to help people understand the scale of the problem created by the rapidly expanding, is still largely an unknown virus. And she wanted to make it clear that “we are not yet able to offer solutions in all areas.”
According to her, the message read: “We will do all that is necessary, together and in the European context”.
Experts on modeling diseases said Wednesday that predicting the overall level of infection in the country is uncertain, but estimates range from 60 to 70 percent was realistic, if not the highest, for some parts of the world.
“People in my area now say that the catch from 30 to 60 percent of the world’s population,” says Dr. Elizabeth Halloran, biostatics Research center cancer them. Fred Hutchinson and the University of Washington.
But she and other experts said that the assessment of Ms. Merkel, most likely, was on the upper level of the range. According to them, the real level of contamination will depend on could save if measures such as social distancing and quarantine, the spread of the virus.
Alessandro Vespignani, Professor of computer and health Sciences at northeastern University in Boston, for years he modeled social dynamics of the spread of infectious diseases and is currently consulting with health professionals around the world. He believes that the number of two-thirds is the worst scenario.