March 18, 2020 / 5:46 PM / 12 days ago

Merkel says fighting virus demands war-time solidarity

A handout photo made available by the German Government shows Chancellor Angela Merkel addressing the nation on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) measures in Berlin, Germany, March 18, 2020. Bundesregierung/Steffen Kugler/Handout via REUTERS

BERLIN (Reuters) - EMBARGOED FOR 1830

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday urged all citizens to help fight the spread of the coronavirus by sticking to the latest rules aimed at reducing direct social contact and avoiding as much new infections as possible.

“It is serious. Take it seriously,” Merkel said in a televised speech. “Since German reunification, actually, since World War Two, there has never been a challenge for our country in which acting in solidarity was so very crucial.”

Merkel appealed to citizens to abide by the unprecedented rules restricting public life, agreed with the 16 federal states earlier this week, adding: “As the government, we will always re-examine what can be corrected, but also what may still be necessary.”

Reporting by Michael Nienaber, editing by Emma Thomasson

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