March 11, 2020 / 6:40 AM / 25 days ago

Closing borders won't stop coronavirus - German health minister

BERLIN, March 11 (Reuters) - Sealing Germany’s borders to prevent the spread of the coronavirus would not work, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Wednesday, rejecting calls to follow neighbour Austria in denying entry to visitors from Italy.

Interviewed on Deutschlandfunk radio, Spahn said the focus of Germany’s current approach to the epidemic was to slow the virus’s spread to minimise the peak burden on the country’s health system. He described as “astonishing” the failure to call off a major Berlin football fixture this weekend.

“The virus is in Germany, it is in Europe. That’s the thought we have to get used to,” he said. “It will stil spread even if you close all the borders. Sooner or later you have to let people in or out and then it starts spreading again.” (Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Douglas Busvine)

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