German Chancellor Angela Merkel is self-quarantining herself after being in contact with a doctor who later tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, a German government spokesperson said.
She will continue her duties from home while being regularly tested over the coming days, the spokesperson said.
Merkel’s move was announced shortly after Germany barred groups consisting of more than two people from gathering, with the exception of families, to help prevent the virus from spreading.
“We are further reducing public life and social contact and ensuring that the measures will be nationwide,” the chancellor said at a press conference, according to The New York Times. “Everyone should organize their movements according to these regulations.”
As of Sunday, Germany has nearly 24,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, making it the fifth-highest as a country according to a global tally by Johns Hopkins University using the latest figures from government health organizations and media reports.
China, with more than 81,000 cases, has the most confirmed cases, followed by Italy with nearly 60,000 cases, the U.S. with 31,000 cases, and then Spain with more than 28,000 cases.
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