German Health Minister Jens Spahn said the country was «no longer in a phase of preventing» the coronavirus from reaching Germany, during a government press conference (BPK) in Berlin on Monday.
«We are no longer in the phase of preventing it to reach Germany nor Europe,» he said. «It is in Germany and Europe and therefore we have to deal with it.»
He added, «If we manage to slow it down... Еще over 12 months until there is a possible vaccine, it makes a huge difference to the question of what it means for the population in the healthcare system. Therefore, I am now primarily concerned with slowing it down.»
The number of coronavirus cases reached 150 in Germany according to the Robert Koch Institute, a federal agency responsible for disease control and prevention, with the first case detected in Berlin announced on Monday.
«It is important that the patients know that if they develop symptoms of respiratory diseases after contacting infected people or if they have come from an infected area, they should not go straight to the doctor, but should first clarify the situation by telephone with their doctor,» Spahn said. «If this is not identified, in doubt just stay at home until this can be clarified.»
The latest data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control indicates that there have now been more than 89,000 cases worldwide and 3,046 deaths related to the virus.