German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that her country is “still at the beginning” of the coronavirus pandemic and citizens must maintain discipline.
“We are still far from out of the woods,” Merkel said while addressing the German parliament Thursday.
More than 150,000 people in Germany have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and 5,315 of them have died from the disease so far, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University. It’s a relatively low death toll compared to other European countries like France and Italy that have similar caseloads but fatalities have soared past 20,000.
Germany’s federal and state governments recently agreed to relax some of the social distancing measures put in place to combat the outbreak, including permitting smaller shops to reopen this week.
“It is precisely because the figures give rise to hope that I feel obliged to say that this interim result is fragile,” Merkel said. “We are on thin ice, the thinnest ice even.”