"Ensuring the safety of population takes precedence"

Government statement on the coronavirus "Ensuring the safety of population takes precedence"

The number of coronavirus cases in Germany is rising. "We are working together every day to address this situation effectively," said Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn in a government statement to the German Bundestag. All the actors involved, at federal state level and on the ground are making an extraordinary effort.

Photo shows Jens Spahn

Speaking in the German Bundestag on Wednesday, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn said he has every confidence in Germany's doctors and nurses

Photo: picture alliance/dpa

The current situation is a major challenge. "Fear and concern are an absolutely normal reaction," said Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn on Wednesday in the German Bundestag. But, he added, we can address the challenges best if we keep calm. The aim is to empower the people, not simply to reassure them, he stressed. With a view to large-scale events, he said, "The principle is always the same – the safety of the population should always take precedence – also over commercial interests."

Banal, but important

In Germany, as elsewhere, the situation remains dynamic, reported the Federal Health Minister. We must be able to respond flexibly to developments, if we are to be well prepared for this rapidly changing situation. The pressure on all actors is enormous. "Everyone can do their bit. Simple rules can make all the difference," said Jens Spahn. Regular hand-washing and coughing into a crooked elbow can help us combat the virus effectively. "Anyone who feels ill or who has had contact to somebody who has become ill should contact their doctor by telephone, and not simply turn up unannounced in the doctor’s practice," stressed Jens Spahn.

Making every effort – for patients

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn also thanked all medical staff. "They are on the front line in the fight against the coronavirus. They are responding calmly, keeping themselves informed about all the latest findings, and doing everything to care for their patients." Doctors and nurses are the first to notice when things are going wrong. "That is why it is so important that they speak up when they encounter problems," said Jens Spahn. The Federal Health Minister also had an appeal to everybody in Germany: protective clothing and disinfectant are vitally important in hospitals and doctors’ practices. "Nobody else needs these items in their day to day life," he stressed.

Objective, calm and constructive

The outbreak has not yet peaked. "In the current situation, it is all the more important to respond calmly, to pull together, and to trust one another," said the Federal Health Minister. It is in everybody’s best interests to cope with this situation objectively and constructively. "That is one of the great strengths of our democracy," declared Jens Spahn.