February 28, 2020 / 10:54 AM / 3 months ago

Almost 60 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany - Health Ministry

BERLIN (Reuters) - There are almost 60 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany, a spokeswoman for the Health Ministry said on Friday, adding that number included people who were now healthy again.

Asked how many confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany there were, she said: “At the moment in Germany we have almost 60 but it’s a very dynamic situation, as we keep saying.”

The German government is not currently planning a stimulus package, a spokeswoman for the Economy Ministry said, but added that the tax framework needed to be improved.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak could not be seriously estimated at the moment.

A spokeswoman for the Health Ministry said the government’s crisis committee would not make recommendations on the possible cancellation of the ITB travel trade fair in Berlin, due to run March 4-8, and added that it was a decision for local authorities.

On Wednesday, Health Minister Jens Spahn said Germany was at the beginning of a coronavirus epidemic after new cases emerged which could no longer be traced to the virus’s original source in China.

On Friday, Germany’s central bank governor, Jens Weidmann, joined a number of European Central Bank policymakers in saying it was too early to gauge the economic fallout of coronavirus, but he acknowledged the Bundesbank’s prediction of a 0.6% gross domestic product expansion this year, which had already been halved from the previous forecast, may be out of date.

Reporting by Paul Carrel; Editing by Michelle Martin

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