Merkel calls coronavirus biggest challenge for Germany since end of WWII

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday said that the coronavirus posed the greatest threat to the nation since the end of World War II in a video statement Wednesday.

“I truly believe that we will succeed in the task before us, so long as all the citizens of this country understand that it is also their task,” Merkel said, according to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. “So let me say this: The situation is serious. Please take it seriously. Since German unification, indeed since the Second World War, there has been no challenge to our nation that has demanded such a degree of common and united action.”

“Millions of you cannot work, cannot take your children to schools or kindergartens. Theaters, cinemas and stores are closed. And perhaps most difficult of all — we cannot have the contacts to one another that we otherwise take for granted,” she added. “It’s natural that in a situation such as this, all of us has many questions and concerns about how things will continue.”

Germany has seen 11,973 cases as of Wednesday afternoon, with 28 deaths. American drugmaker Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech announced Tuesday they are collaborating on a potential vaccine for the virus.

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