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Corona: Merkel, Macron and Others to Collect Billions for Corona Medication

Angela Merkel has teamed up with other European leaders to collect billions of Euro for a medication and vaccination against the Coronavirus. A donor conference will take place on Monday.

Germany’s Chancellor Merkel, her French and Italian colleagues Emmanuel Macron and Giuseppe Conte, the new German President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and other leaders are determined to collect 7.5 billion Euro (8.3 billion U.S. Dollars or 6.7 billion Pounds Sterling) for research that is supposed to produce a medication and a vaccination against the Coronavirus that has killed thousands and pulled the world into a deep crisis.

Unprecedented Global Cooperation

In an appeal printed in the ‘Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung’ daily, the leaders stated they would put their own pledges on the table while hoping to be joined by partners from around the world. The means collected would lead to an unprecedented global cooperation between scientists, regulation authorities international organizations, foundations, the industry and governments.

In the meantime, Austria is easing its Corona rules. Starting today, all shops in the republic are allowed to reopen. So are hairdressers. The distance customers are supposed to keep to each other is 1 meter (3.3 feet). In stores, there need to be 10 square meters (108 square feet) of space per customer. Masks are mandatory.

Businesses Want to End Restrictions

In the neighboring country Germany, the rules differ. Here, 1.5 meters (5 feet) of distance are supposed to be kept. Twenty square meters (215 square feet) per customer is the space that is supposed to be kept in shops.

While the situation is relatively good in comparison to other countries, what the number of Corona-related deaths and the pressure on the health system are concerned, the overall mood might be changing. It seems the support for the government’s strict Corona rules is crumbling at least in business circles. More and more trade associations are demanding an end to the restrictions. Some politicians are on their side.

Kramp-Karrenbauer Defends Restrictions

The number of citizens who do not believe Corona really exists seems to be on the rise too. In Berlin, 80 participants of a forbidden protest of conspiracy theorists were arrested on Friday. Fifty more were taken into custody in the evening. They were part of another illegal protest, this time against the state and the “system”, which police successfully dispersed in the late evening.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the head of Chanellor Merkel’s conservative party CDU, defended the anti-Corona measures. She asked the Germans to hang in there in the ‘Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung’ daily. Because of the restrictions and the patience shown by many, nobody in Germany needed to discuss who would be treated at hospitals and who would not.

Persistence and Discipline

Kramp-Karrenbauer stated this was a marathon. Unfortunately a few miles were left to the finishing line. Just days before, Bavaria’s First Minister Markus Söder had used the marathon analogy, saying the Corona crisis was a marathon in which nobody knew where the finish line was, According to Kramp-Karrenbauer, persistence and discipline are still needed.

Ninety-seven days after the first Coronavirus case was confirmed in Germany, and 41 days after the contact restrictions were put in place, just over 164,000 people in Germany were infected, according to the official numbers. Since the beginning of the crisis, 6,736 individuals have died from the disease the Coronavirus causes. At least 126,900 patients are cured by now.

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